Former president Robert Mugabe and his family left the official presidential residences in a terrible state, with leaking roofs, broken flush handles and unkempt tennis courts, a private newspaper reported on Tuesday.
State House and Zimbabwe House, which face each other across a central Harare road, are now undergoing major renovations and Mugabe’s successor Emmerson Mnangagwa is yet to move in, reports the private NewsDay.
‘Things were a mess’
“State House was no longer State House when I got there. Things were in a mess that’s what I can tell you,” Douglas Tapfuma, director of state residences told the paper.
He would not say how much is being spent on renovating the two houses.
“We are not worried by the money. We just want to restore these houses to a state where they are a national pride. These are the houses that show the status of our nation and surely they should be maintained to those levels,” he said.
Mugabes moved out years ago
State House is used for formal receptions, while Zimbabwe House is understood to be where the president lives. Mugabe moved out to his own private mansion around 12 years ago though he did still receive international visitors at State House.
NewsDay, quoting insiders, said at Zimbabwe House trees were growing out of the tennis courts and new ones will have to be built. It said even flush handles on toilets had been left broken.
Sources told the paper that Mnangagwa won’t move into the official residence until after elections in July “in case he loses”.