Cape Town – Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe has reportedly defied a High Court order to return three properties she seized from a Lebanese businessman Jamal Ahmed in a botched $1.35m diamond ring deal.
According to News Day, Grace defied the court order and remained in occupation of the three houses in Harare’s affluent Avondale suburb.
President Robert Mugabe‘s wife allegedly seized the properties after Ahmed failed to repay the money that she had paid for the polished diamond ring.
The ring had been meant to be Mugabe’s wedding anniversary gift to Grace. The year 2016 marked the 20th anniversary of the Mugabes’ wedding.
Grace allegedly made the payment through a local commercial bank, but declined to accept the ring on delivery before demanding that the refund be deposited in her private Dubai bank account.
‘Threatened with harm’
But, Ahmed, according to court papers, said it would take long to effect the refund, as he had used a third party for the transaction, to which Grace objected and proceeded to seize the properties.
Ahmed also said in the court documents: “I have been threatened with harm if I return [to Zimbabwe] and it is necessary that I get some of protection.
Quoting Ahmed’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, the report said that Grace had “not yet removed her proxies from the properties, in defiance of an eviction order issued by High Court judge, Justice Clement Phiri on December 21 last year”.
Mtetwa said they had now approached the Deputy Sheriff of the High Court to evict Grace’s proxies from the properties.
Justice Phiri had given Grace’s proxies 24 hours to vacate the premises, failure to which, the sheriff would be authorised to evict them and restore the properties to Ahmed.