Grace Mugabe on spending spree


It was difficult to assess how many smartly-dressed children in blue uniforms were at the school but its officials claimed there were a maximum of 16 per teacher in the primary school.

Still under construction were an indoor swimming pool and under-cover hockey field and three other buildings on the same land behind a 5m high, 4km long wall.

A teacher at the school, who claims she is a “pastor”, said the Amai Mugabe school charged pupils R50 000 per term with three terms a year and most pupils were boarders.

The only Zimbabwean on site one day recently said they were “security” officials and that they were supported by CCTV. Staff are housed in small buildings behind the school.

A private building contractor in Harare who asked not to be named said Mugabe was “spending many millions” on the school complex, which is below a huge three-storey hill-top luxury home she finished building last year.

Mugabe has taken about a dozen other properties, mostly white-owned farms, since 2001. President Robert Mugabe has seized more than six farms for himself.

Zimbabwe’s first lady made headlines last week after a well-known Dubai-based diamond dealer, Jamal Ahmed, lodged an urgent application at the High Court, claiming Mugabe had invaded and taken over three of his properties in Harare in October after he sold her a diamond ring which cost R18m.

He claims she then changed her mind and demanded her money back.

Ahmed said in an affidavit that she wanted to be repaid in Dubai, although she paid for the ring from her Zimbabwe bank account.

Security officials at State House have twice refused to accept summons from Ahmed.

President Mugabe’s spokesman, George Charamba, failed to answer questions about Grace Mugabe’s latest spending spree.

Questions about her externalisation of funds were also put to John Mangudya, governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

By Peta Thornycroft- Independent Foreign Service


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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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