Lack of will fuels questions over Mugabe's estate
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HARARE - Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe left behind $10million (R146.2m) in a foreign currency account with local bank CBZ and extensive properties - including a farm and residential houses in Harare as well as his rural Zvimba home - which are set to be bequeathed to his flamboyant wife, Grace, and his four children.
The declaration of the contents in Mugabe’s estate by his family has, however, sparked allegations that some of the properties were omitted, as no will was found for the veteran politician, who died at the age of 95 in September.
The estate that was registered with the Master of the High Court in Harare includes 10 vehicles and five residential houses in Harare, three farming and rural properties in Zvimba, state media reported.
In January, three former employees appeared in court for allegedly stealing $1m in cash from a briefcase at Mugabe’s Zvimba home.
Mugabe’s luxury Blue Roof mansion in Harare, which had earlier been claimed by his ruling Zanu-PF party, was included in the list of his assets after President Emmerson Mnangagwa allegedly directed that the property be transferred to his family.
The land for the mansion was a donation from the party.
A former Mugabe ally, the exiled Saviour Kasukuwere, who was reported over the weekend to have finally decided to challenge Mnangagwa in the 2023 poll, has said that it was a legal requirement that Mugabe’s assets be listed and declared. “He (Mugabe) remains a great African leader in spite of these malicious attempts to soil him,” said Kasukuwere.
Mugabe’s family wrote to the Master of the High Court in October declaring his assets.
“Thus far, we have not been able to locate a will, but have sent out enquiries to other law firms, although the family members are not aware of any,” read a letter written by the Mugabe family’s legal representatives.
The Master of the High Court has now called for a meeting with the family tomorrow to agree on an executor for the estate.
Most observers are sceptical that the assets are all that Mugabe possessed, pointing to his business interests in the troubled dairy company Gushungo Holdings, as well as some foreign properties previously reported under his name.
“I will take this list of properties with a lot of scepticism. It's hard to accept that the real Mugabe we knew would have died without writing a will; it’s unbelievable. I think there is more to this issue,” said Daniel Nkhoma, a Harare political observer.