Grace buys US$4m plot in Borrowdale

FIRST Lady Grace Mugabe, who has gone full throttle in expanding her real estate portfolio, has bought a US$4,2 million plot that was earmarked for a housing development project in the plush Helensvale area of Harare’s Borrowdale suburb as she grows her empire, the Zimbabwe Independent can exclusively reveal.

By Bernard Mpofu/Elias Mambo

Prime land … The entrance to the 55-hectare plot recently bought by First Lady Grace Mugabe in the Helensvale area of Borrowdale, Harare.

Grace has been splurging millions of dollars on houses, cars and jewellery despite the fact that her business empire, under the Gushungo Holdings’ Alpha and Omega Dairies banner, is in the doldrums, incurring perennial losses since 2013.

Information gathered by the Independent shows that in November 2016, Grace paid US$4,2 million to a Harare man, Jan Teede, for a plot measuring 55 hectares which is located at 336 Carrick Creagh Road. The property overlooks President Robert Mugabe’s iconic “Blue Roof” mansion. The plot, situated nearly 500 metres from Borrowdale Country Club, was first bought by Teede in 1983.

Teede confirmed that he had sold the property to Malthill Investments, a company linked to Grace. The Independent could not extract a file on Malthill at the Companies Registry in Harare.
“Full payment has been made, but the property has not yet been transferred. This, however, is imminent,” Teede said in a written response to questions sent.

“Malthill Investments (bought the property). I do not know the shareholdings of this company, and have not enquired. I understand that Grace Mugabe is one of the directors. The business has been handled by Kennan Properties and I left all negotiations to them. We have not, contrary to speculation, been given Reserve Bank permission to externalise the funds.”

Teede further said he had plans to develop houses on the expansive property, adding that he could move out of the property by December this year, after the purchase.

“The house itself is a fairly humble dwelling, but on a large and valuable property (55 hectares) that I purchased in 1983. I was in the process of commencing a housing development on it, (approx 73 plots, with sub-division rights granted) when I received an offer for the entire property,” Teede said.

“No, we are still in situ. we have been given some time (perhaps a year) to remain after transfer, but I have no idea whether this will be a de facto situation, or whether we will be asked to move out soon after transfer.”

The Independent visited the property this week. The sprawling plot is strewn with mainly Msasa trees and metal sculptures close to the entrance. The property is fortified with a parameter fence.

Checks by the Independent show that Grace has also bought a property in Sandhurst, Sandton’s most affluent area for R45 million (US$3,5 million) and is also negotiating to buy another. The property is located at Number 37 Killarney Road. The price could go up to a whopping R49 million (US$3,7 million) when transfer costs, renovations and finishings are added.

She has also been renting a huge South African property owned by Angolan immigrants for R200 000 (more than US$15 000)not respond.

In the last part of the introductory video, Mnangagwa questions Moyo’s loyalty by showing a list of quotations from Moyo, which he made during the time he was out of Zanu PF after he was fired from the party in 2005 for his involvement in the Tsholotsho Declaration.

In one of the quotes, Moyo said: “The mind of the electorate is now fixed against Mugabe that if he were to contest against a donkey in the run-off, the donkey would win by a landslide not because anyone would vote for it, but simply because people would vote against Mugabe and thus benefit the donkey.”

The sources said Mugabe just held his head and shook it as the quotations rolled down the screen.

Mnangagwa, sources said, told the politburo that Moyo was working for an American spy outfit, the Central Intelligence Agency, and that he had been feeding Zanu PF’s enemies with official secrets, including details of cabinet and politburo meetings.

“Mnangagwa said had it not been for the protection he is enjoying, Moyo should have long been charged with treason and espionage for leaking sensitive cabinet files which contravenes the Cabinet Handbook,” another senior party official said.

In his presentation, Mnangagwa denied Moyo’s allegation that he was capturing state institutions.

“He (Mnangagwa) took the politburo through the appointment process of the new chief justice and said he was doing everything in consultation with the president. He even accused Moyo, his co-Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko, (Public Service minister) Patrick Zhuwao and the late former Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku of holding several meetings at Mphoko’s house which would run into the early hours of the morning as they plotted to derail the appointment of a new Chief Justice.”

Mnangagwa also denied capturing the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc). He said it was the president’s prerogative to appoint or fire the commissioners. He also stated that it was not factual that he ensured that his preferred candidate for the post of Prosecutor-General, Ray Goba, got the post despite a criminal case he once faced in Namibia.
“Mnangagwa said the president made sure that due diligence was done before Goba’s appointment. A team was dispatched at the instigation of the president to Namibia to check on the criminal case and it was discovered that he was cleared of the charges and had been promoted twice since then. It was then that the president appointed him out of a list of three names shortlisted by the Judicial Service Commission,” the politburo member said.

During the presentation, Moyo interjected and questioned the vice-president’s loyalty, saying he sponsored him in 2005 when he campaigned as an independent candidate. Moyo said Mnangagwa bought a vehicle for him through a certain chief executive of a local bank (name supplied) to use for the campaign.

In response, Mnangagwa said there was no way he would have sponsored him at the time because he had crossed paths with Moyo over the 2004 Tsholotsho debacle.

Mugabe, sources said, told Moyo to bring evidence to show that Mnangagwa bought the vehicle for him.

Turning back to the allegations raised by Moyo, Mnangagwa said they were mere rumours based on hearsay.

“It was at this time that the former labour minister Prisca Mupfumira jumped in, saying she lost her job because of such rumours and hearsay from grown up men,” the source said. “Mupfumira went to remind Grace that the same women she was dumping now were the ones that played a key role in her appointment as the Women’s League boss.”

While Mupfumira was speaking, Water and Climate minister Oppah Muchinguri reportedly interjected, saying she had to relinquish her post because the women whom Grace called “the golden ladies” persuaded her to do so despite her having the people’s mandate.

“At this time, sparks flew as other women such as Cleveria Chizema also accused the party leadership of running Zanu PF through rumours,” another politburo member said.

The sources said Grace fought in Moyo’s corner, saying at least the Higher and Tertiary Education minister accepted where he has made mistakes and apologises unlike most of the politburo members who did not.

“Grace told Mupfumira that she was dropped from cabinet because there were reports that funds were being abused at the National Social Security Authority and not because of Zanu PF infighting. She said this after Mugabe pointed out that her being dropped was because of other matters.”

Mnangagwa also accused Moyo of hobnobbing with Sapes Trust director Ibbo Mandaza, who is seen as a staunch critic of Mugabe and is already pushing for a political transition in Zimbabwe.

After his presentation, Mnangagwa suggested that a disciplinary process be instituted within the party so that Moyo can answer to the charges he raised against him.

Mnangagwa recommended that with regards to issues to do with the military, it would be proper that they be dealt with by the Joint Operations Command. He suggested that the report and comments made by Moyo stating that there was a coup plot be investigated by military intelligence and other security organs.

“He (Mnangagwa) also said the final decision rests with the president who is the appointing authority,” the source said.

A politburo source said at the end of the presentation, Mugabe said: “We have heard everything and the challenge we have is that some of our people want to dine with our enemies and then come back to us. Mugabe then asked Mnangagwa to give him the presentation and his videos so that ‘he can study them’.” – ZimInd