Mystery over Robert Mugabe’s missing millions as lack of will fuels questions over Gushungo’s estate

By IOL and BBC

 

Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe left behind $10 million (R146.2m) in a foreign currency account with local bank CBZ and extensive properties – including a farm and residential houses in Harare as well as his rural Zvimba home – which are set to be bequeathed to his flamboyant wife, Grace, and his four children.

The declaration of the contents in Mugabe’s estate by his family has, however, sparked allegations that some of the properties were omitted, as no will was found for the veteran politician, who died at the age of 95 in September.

The estate that was registered with the Master of the High Court in Harare includes 10 vehicles and five residential houses in Harare, three farming and rural properties in Zvimba, state media reported.

In January, three former employees appeared in court for allegedly stealing $1m in cash from a briefcase at Mugabe’s Zvimba home.

Mugabe’s luxury Blue Roof mansion in Harare, which had earlier been claimed by his ruling Zanu-PF party, was included in the list of his assets after President Emmerson Mnangagwa allegedly directed that the property be transferred to his family.

The extent of Mugabe’s riches has for many years been a source of speculation.

Zimbabweans assume that Mugabe, who died on September 6, and his family amassed a vast fortune over his 37 years in power, but there are few hard facts about their wealth.

Mugabe’s daughter Bona Chikowore in October wrote to the Master of High Court seeking to register her father’s estate, which included $10 million held in a local bank, four houses, 10 cars, one farm, his rural home and an orchard, the Herald reported.

In Zimbabwe, if a person dies without a will, the assets are divided between the spouse and children. Mugabe is survived by his wife, Grace, and four children – including his step-son.

Mugabe died and left the country without a cent

The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) had said it plans to more than double the number of people it helps in Zimbabwe to more than four million. Nearly eight million people overall are in need, it added.

The WFP will provide rations of cereal, pulses and vegetable oil and a protective nutrition ration for children under five.
“We’re deep into a vicious cycle of sky-rocketing malnutrition that’s hitting women and children hardest and will be tough to break,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley in a statement.

“With poor rains forecast yet again in the run-up to the main harvest in April, the scale of hunger in the country is going to get worse before it gets better.”

Zimbabwe is currently going through a severe economic crisis, with rising inflation, compounded by a drought across southern Africa.

It had been hoped that the the post-Mugabe era, under President Emmerson Mnangagwa, would bring a change in the country’s economic fortunes. But the current government has been accused of economic mismanagement and human rights abuses.

 

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