Grace Mugabe risks losing all her properties in Mazowe

 Grace Mugabe risks losing all her properties in Mazowe
Published: 05 October 2019
FORMER first lady Grace Mugabe risks losing all her properties in Mazowe including her famed Gushungo dairy operations and top-notch school there after the government indicated that it could re-allocate the farms under her control to miners who were displaced from the area during her late husband's tenure in power, the Daily News reported.

This comes as there continues to be lingering questions about what lies ahead for the irascible and once untouchable widow of former president Robert Mugabe, following his recent death and his contested place of burial.

Now, mining authorities in Mashonaland Central have invited all displaced claim holders to come forward and assert their rights, including claims on farms that are currently occupied by the former first family  all this a few weeks after Mugabe's death.

According to a memorandum dated September 18, 2019, and which was issued by Mashonaland Central mining director Tariro Ndhlovu, these mining claims include those on Manzou Farm, Surtic, Smithfield, Arnold, Yarrowdale, Foyle Estate, Brecon, Bandari, Brundret, Maggiesdale and Glenbervile.

"All miners who used to hold mining titles (claims) in the above named farms are invited to report to the Mashonaland provincial mining office in Bindura and re-inspect them as soon as possible.

"We are extending this grace period for a period of 60 days with effect from 19 September, 2019 beyond which we will assume all those who hold such interests would have restored them," Ndhlovu said.

What has set tongues wagging is the fact that the Mugabes have interests in a number of the farms mentioned above, including Manzou, Smithfield, Arnold and Foyle Estate all of which are located in Mazowe where Grace has a school, an orphanage and a dairy business.

While Mines minister Winston Chitando did not respond to questions that were sent via his mobile phone, an official who spoke to the Daily News on condition of anonymity confirmed the develop- ments.

"Yes, that is a memo that we placed on the notice board at our offices in Mashonaland Central," the official said.

As dark clouds appear to hang over the future of the Mugabe family's properties in Mazowe, one of the claim holders Tafadzwa Ralph Mutopo has already written to the Amai Grace Mugabe School advising it of his intention to move back to his mine at Iron Mask Estate.

"I write this to notify you and your office that I will be returning to my gold mines which are the Iron Mask claims.

"In terms of the Mines and Minerals Act (Chapter 21:05) of 1996, I am the sole owner/holder of the 4 x 10 hectare gold reef blocks in Iron Mask Estate, Mazowe area," he said.

Mutopo, who said he would immediately start mining there, also claimed to have at least five other mining claims dotted around Mazowe.

He said he was simply making a notification "out of respect for Amai, and not for any other thing".

Besides the former first family, this development will also affect
a number of other individuals that include war veterans whose properties fall within the parameters of some of the mining claims.

The death of Mugabe at a top-notch Singaporean hospital on September 6, as well as the subsequent ugly tussling with the government over where he was to be buried, have put several question marks over the future of his widow and children.

At the height of Zanu-PF's deadly tribal, factional and succession wars, Grace was a central figure in the high-stakes brawling between President Emmerson Mnangagwa who was then vice president
and the Generation 40 camp, which was rabidly opposed to him succeeding Mugabe.

Mnangagwa was subsequently expelled from both the government and Zanu-PF on November 6, 2017, a day after Grace had said he was "a snake whose head has to be crushed" — on a dramatic weekend which had seen the then powerful first lady being booed at a rally at White City Stadium, in Bulawayo.

Only this week, the rumour-mill was in overdrive that Grace would lose her Harare mansion after Zanu-PF secretary for administration, Obert Mpofu, suggested that the Blue Roof should be turned into a museum. He, however, recanted the proposal after the government distanced itself from his views.

Zanu-PF bought the land housing this property before donating it to Mugabe in 1999. Mugabe later bought five adjacent properties, including one with a dam, stables, tennis court and swimming pool — substantially increasing the size of the Borrowdale estate where the Blue Roof is built.

Last year, Mnangagwa said his government was grappling with multiple farm owners and named Grace among the culprits.

"The main issue we have identified is ... of multiple farm owner- ship, especially among people in high offices. For example, I know of one lady who has 16 farms Dr Stop It," Mnangagwa said then.

Grace was christened "Dr Stop It" at the height of Zanu-PF's factionalism when she used rallies to admonish Mugabe's deputies Joice Mujuru in 2014 and Mnangagwa in 2017.

During Mugabe's era in power, the first family was accused of amassing huge tracts of land and wealth, as well as evicting a number of miners, peasants and farm owners in Mazowe.
- dailynews
Tags: mugabe,


Latest News

Latest Published Reports

Latest jobs