gtag('config', 'UA-12595121-1'); Zimbabwe Government Repossesses Land from Former First Lady Grace Mugabe and Family – The Zimbabwe Mail

Zimbabwe Government Repossesses Land from Former First Lady Grace Mugabe and Family

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HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has reportedly repossessed extensive land holdings belonging to former First Lady Grace Mugabe, her daughter Bona, and other relatives.

This action is widely seen as a targeted campaign orchestrated by Mnangagwa, the successor of the late President Robert Mugabe, to undermine the former first family’s influence in Zimbabwean politics.

Sources close to the Mugabe family claim that the land seizures are part of a calculated effort to diminish their power within the country. Reports from The Standard reveal that large tracts of land owned by Grace Mugabe, her daughter Bona, and other close relatives have been taken over by the government.

The repossessions echo the chaotic land reform program of Mugabe’s rule. Grace Mugabe’s expansive Mazowe citrus farm, which includes an orphanage and the Amai Mugabe School, has been handed over to Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe. Rumors suggest that Kazembe plans to replace the farm with a bustling mall.

The land seizures extend beyond Grace Mugabe’s holdings. Bona Mugabe has lost much of her farm in Mashonaland Central to Angeline Tongogara, the widow of the late Zanla commander Josiah Magama Tongogara. A Ministry of Lands official revealed that Angeline Tongogara is collaborating with Lance Kennedy, the son of the farm’s former white owner, to utilize the land, and she has taken center pivots that Bona had purchased.

Grace Mugabe’s niece, Florence Zinyemba, and her husband Flavian, who served as matron of honor at the Mugabes’ wedding, have been evicted from their Protea Farm home to make way for Auxilia Mnangagwa’s Angel of Hope Foundation. Additionally, Mnangagwa’s daughter, Tariro, has received a portion of Kevin Mugabe’s Audley End Farm. An official from the Lands Ministry indicated that Tariro had long been eyeing this property.

Robert Zhuwao, another nephew of Mugabe, has lost Subdivision 4 of Cockington Farm to Sports Minister Kirsty Coventry after failing to overturn his eviction in court.

These land seizures are part of a broader pattern of retribution and consolidation of power within the Mnangagwa administration. Mnangagwa’s loyalists have benefitted significantly from these actions, which the Mugabe family views as a continuation of the hostilities that began with the 2017 coup that ousted Mugabe from power. Grace Mugabe, who was a vocal opponent of Mnangagwa’s presidential ambitions, led a public campaign against him that was ultimately thwarted by the military.

“The targeted seizures of land belonging to the late long-time ruler’s relatives show there are still hostilities between Mnangagwa and the former first lady,” a Mugabe family member said, reflecting the sentiments of many within the family.

The government has remained silent on the matter. Government spokesperson Nick Mangwana refused to comment on the displacement of the Mugabe family from their properties, stating, “I cannot comment on that. I am not aware. I would refer you to the Minister of State for Mashonaland Central. But if you were going to ask me on a policy issue, I would say if it was a land invasion, they should call the police.”

Lands Minister Anxious Masuka was unavailable for comment.

The land seizures, reminiscent of the controversial land reform program implemented by Mugabe, raise concerns about the future of Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector. In 2019, Mnangagwa declared that an audit revealed Grace Mugabe owned 16 farms and has warned repeatedly that those holding large tracts of land will be dispossessed in line with the government’s “one family one farm” policy.

The government’s actions have significant implications. The land reform program, which displaced over 4,000 white Zimbabweans from their farms, has left the country with a $3.5 billion debt to the former farmers for developments on their properties. The recent land seizures further complicate the nation’s agricultural and economic landscape.

Source – The Standard