Zimbabwe’s former first lady has reportedly filed complaints against at least 400 artisanal gold miners who have looted her Mazowe farm and are threatening her children’s livelihood.
According to New Zimbabwe.com, Grace Mugabe confronted the invaders but the alleged gold miners were reluctant to move and instead threw profanities at the former first lady.
Grace has since filed a police report and alleged that the suspected gold miners have damaged her state of the art irrigation equipment.
In her report, the former first lady also claimed that cases of theft have also occurred at her farm.
“On March 29 at around 11:30 I was touring my farm, Smithfield; when I arrived at Lemon Pool section, I was shocked to find a group of approximately 400 men illegally penning gold. I then asked them to stop their activities since I am the owner of the farm and I am the holder of a special grant for the whole area. However, the crowd, which was being led by one Nyazvingo started to shout obscenities at me and continued with their unlawful activities,” a statement by the former first lady reportedly said.
According to NewsDay, a visible angry Grace said that the looting at her farm was politically motivated.
She said: “Does it mean that if President [Emmerson] Mnangagwa is removed tomorrow, he will be disposed of his investments? Is this how he wants to be treated with his investments?
“This is politically motivated, as you can see that when we got there, they were singing ‘kutonga kwaro garwe’ (a song that was famous during Mnangagwa’s rise to power.”
The Grace Mugabe farm was under constant police and ruling Zanu-PF youth protection during her husband’s reign as a results hundreds of families were evicted.
The villagers of Manzou farm in Mazowe, north of Harare, were evicted by armed police in a series of operations launched in January 2015.
The farm was allocated to Grace during her husband’s presidency. But since her husband was forced to step down last November, the first lady has faced a number of obstacles regarding her properties, including a court judgement compelling her to pay damages to the evictees.
A court in the town of Bindura this month started handing down judgements ordering the police and government to compensate the villagers.
Now they want an apology for Grace’s “cruelty”, says online news site New Zimbabwe.