HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) The president accused of impoverishing Zimbabwe has handed out $148,000 to the nation's Olympians, most of it to a top-performing swimmer.
The government-controlled Herald newspaper reported Saturday that Robert Mugabe announced the awards during a brief ceremony Friday. He called Kirsty Coventry Zimbabwe's "golden girl" and gave her $100,000.
Coventry won three silvers and a gold at the Beijing games. She showed off her medals during a parade through Harare earlier this week.
The Herald said Mugabe gave three others on the 13-member Olympic squad $10,000 each. Each of the remaining athletes got $2,000.
Many Zimbabweans are unable to afford food and other basics. The opposition blames the economic collapse on Mugabe. Mugabe blames the West.