By Robert Tapfumaneyi
FORMER President Robert Mugabe, has put a large consignment of farming equipment and vehicles at his Gushungo farm up for sale.
According to a notice in a local newspaper, the equipment is expected to go under the hammer over the weekend at the former Zanu PF leader’s sprawling Mazowe farm.
Mugabe is reported to own more than a dozen farms, in and around Mashonaland Central and West provinces.
The public auction will take place at Gushungo Diary Farm in Mazowe, close to former First Lady Grace’s private school and orphanage.
About 26 vehicles including Toyota Hiluxs, Honda Fits, Ford Rangers, Madza B1800s and Toyota Corollas are on sale, 11 motorcycles, 130 dish roms, disc harrows, several combine harvesters and over a dozen brands of tractors.
The auctioneers, Ruby Auctions said it has been instructed to sell several, tractors, vehicles and farm equipment at the dairy farm on Saturday.
“This is old farming equipment, that we have been instructed to sell as the owners want to dispose it, for reasons best known to them,” an official from the auction told newzimbabwe.com.
“There is nothing new in farm owners selling equipment or motor vehicles which they no longer in need.”
Mugabe grabbed a number of farms under his government’s controversial land expropriation programme that is blamed for the country’s economic problems.
The former guerrilla leader, at the turn of the century unleashed former liberation fighters onto white owned farms in what he argued was a programme to redress colonial land imbalances.
However, critics argue Mugabe parceled out land mostly to his relatives and cronies in the ruling party before he was deposed by a military coup in November 2017.
Gushungo Dairies is part of Mugabe’s business empire and at its peak was producing up to a million litres of milk a year.
Following his removal from power State media reported that the former strongman owned 21 farms.
His successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa during a period of frosty relations between the two in the aftermath of the coup threatened to take away some of the farms.
Mugabe had been linked to a political group bitterly opposed to Mnangagwa and made up of remnants of a faction in the ruling party known as G40 that included Grace.
Early this year, reports said Mugabe’s vast business empire was on the verge of collapse, after it emerged that the company was struggling to keep afloat and failing to pay workers’ salaries and commissions.
It has since reduced its staff by half and several key personnel have left the company.
Grace was also involved in a nasty land battle with ordinary people who she wanted to drive out of a farm adjacent to hers as she sought to expand operations.