HARARE – Suspected Zanu PF thugs laid siege to Grace Mugabe’s gold mine in Mazowe mid last week before they were chased from the property two days later.
Eye witnesses told the Daily News that the invaders, fronted by a known Zanu PF functionary (name supplied), used guns to drive out the few security guards who were guarding the property.
They said the Zanu PF official had previously made several visits to the mine, claiming he was its rightful owner.
On Wednesday last week, the official, with nearly 10 of his lackeys in tow, forced his way into the property.
They occupied the main house at the mine, and even tried to enlist the services of the police to eject the former first lady from the mine before leaving one of them guarding the property.
The invaders were, however, ejected from the property after the Mugabes regrouped.
When the Daily News visited the area, it was swarming with security guards hired by Mugabes.
While efforts to get a comment from the police were unsuccessful, the chief security officer of the company enlisted by the Mugabes to guard their properties, Max Murangwana, confirmed the incident.
He said they have since beefed up security.
“Although we reported the matter to the police and took them there, we were surprised because the people were released on Friday and we were surprised to find them in the main house,” said Murangwana.
“We reinforced security and chased them away from the house that was previously used by the Chinese who had entered into a deal with the bosses (the Mugabes).”
The Chinese contractors left the property just after the soft coup which dethroned former president Robert Mugabe last November.
Murangwana said the invaders seemed mostly interested in the main house, adding that despite chasing them away, their leader continued to make impromptu visits at the mine.
Contacted by the Daily News for comment, the Zanu PF official claimed he was never in Mazowe.
“I don’t know what you are talking about,” he said before he cut off his line.
The former first lady lost her aura of invincibility after the dramatic fall of her husband in November last year, less than two weeks after he had dismissed one of his deputies, Emmerson Mnangagwa, from Zanu PF and government.
Mnangagwa was to bounce back to assume the presidency, with the help of the army.
Since then, Grace has seen most of her investments in the fertile lands of Mazowe invaded by Zanu PF supporters, including a thriving citrus plantation.
Her orphanage and a once thriving dairy farm have been ransacked, with thieves getting away with moveable assets such as computers and other valuables.
The Mugabes’ almost utopian empire was conceived at the height of their power but is slowly crumbling as those who once feared them gather courage, apparently buoyed by the new dispensation.
A legacy university that was supposed to be constructed to the tune of $1 billion bankrolled by the government of Zimbabwe has been put on hold with the ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education saying it has no money to undertake the project.
Mnangagwa has vowed to strip Mugabe of all the farms he has but one.