Former first lady Grace Mugabe who last week reported that 400 illegal gold panners had invaded her farm in Mazowe and 31 laptops from her children’s home were stolen is lying, Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu said.
He said miners were at the farm legally as three mining syndicates were issued with a provisional order barring police and Gushungo Holdings from interfering with their mining activities under case number HC293/18.
“On March 29, 2018, the former First Lady made a report at ZRP Mazowe alleging that 400 illegal miners had invaded her lemon plantation and vandalised the field and irrigation equipment. On March 30, 2018, another report was made to the police that illegal miners had been sighted at the Amai Mugabe Children’s Home,” Mpofu was quoted by The Chronicle as saying.
“The ZRP attended the scene on 30th and 31st March 2018 and established through interviews and physical checks that there were no illegal miners at the children’s home and lemon plantation. The inquiries revealed that there is a mining dispute between the former First Family and three mining syndicates, Mondo 3 led by Bright Maonga, Mondo 4 mining claim led by Shepherd Nyazvingo and Xmas 159 led by Mohammed Khan. The syndicates went to the High Court and obtained a provisional order which bars the police and Gushungo Holdings from interfering with their mining operations, High Court order HC293/18 refers.”
Mpofu said investigations also revealed that only 8 laptops were stolen from Amai Mugabe School and not 31 as she claimed.
Two of her employees, Amos Masimure and Wilson Pomba, were arrested in connection with the theft.
Masimure was convicted and sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail and ordered to restitute the complainant $1 500 while Pomba is out on $50 bail.
Mpofu said six of the eight laptops were sold to some people in Harare but have since been recovered.