SW Radio Africa (London)

31 January 2014

Zimbabwe: Grace Mugabe Grabs More Land

First Lady Grace Mugabe has grabbed more land belonging to Interfresh's Mazoe Citrus Estate, according to the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper.

The president's wife has seized a further 800 hectares in addition to the 1,600 hectares she grabbed last year from Interfresh, on the pretext that she was expanding her orphanage, located nearby.

The Independent reported how three years ago, prospective home owners who had bought stands from the Mazoe Rural District Council in 1998 were evicted to pave way for Grace's orphanage.

There are indications that Grace is still eyeing more of the estate's land, part of which was grabbed by Environment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere 10 years ago.

Grace and her husband President Robert Mugabe are multiple farm owners whose land grab spree two years ago displaced 50 families who had been resettled at Manzou Game Reserve.

Her first son Russell recently grabbed Tolrose Mine in Kadoma.

Political analyst Leslie Dube, who visited the Mazoe area recently, said there was land around the orphanage that Grace could have occupied.

"It's disgusting. She did not have to go for more of the Interfresh land because the company has been in trouble for some time now. The more land she takes, the more people will be rendered jobless.

"So her land grab is not being driven by the love of the ordinary person or these orphans. It is pure greed," Dube added.

Interfresh last year said the portion allocated to the Mugabes' represented 46% of Mazoe Citrus Estate's total arable land, meaning 30% of its budgeted revenue for the financial year 2013 was lost.

They have since lodged an appeal with the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement, the Independent said.

The Mugabes already own Highfield Farm in Norton, Gushungo Dairy in Mazowe and are also linked to land belonging to a posh school along Borrowdale road, in Harare.

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