A $1.3 million ring deal that went sour could wreck First Lady Grace Mugabe’s political ambitions as it is increasingly exposing how extravagant and arrogant she has become, making one wonder how she would have if she were to become president.
Grace bought the ring from a Lebanese businessman Jamal Ahmed to mark her 20th wedding anniversary to President Robert Mugabe but changed her mind and demanded her money back.
She paid for the ring using her local bank account but asked Ahmed to pay the refund into her account held at a Dubai bank.
Ahmed, however, refused to pay the money outside Zimbabwe saying anti-money laundering laws did not allow that. Instead, he offered to pay the First Lady in installments through a third party but Grace refused.
The First Lady then seized three properties in Harare belonging to Ahmed. The High Court on 21 December ordered her to release the properties but she did not do so.
According to reports, the First Lady grabbed two more houses three days before the High Court ruling.
Critics are now questioning why The First Lady splashed such a high amount on a diamond ring when millions of Zimbabweans did not have any food.
This is extravagance is worsened by reports that she has splashed out more than $7 million in the past few months and is spending more on the holiday she is currently enjoying with her husband and family.
But it is the flouting of court orders and the grabbing of properties that is scary as it demonstrates that the First lady believes she is above the law.
Her demand to be paid in Dubai also raises questions about her husband’s integrity, in view of the rampant corruption that has engulfed the country.
Mugabe has denied on several occasions that he has no investments outside the country.
But viewed the other way, $1.3 million is nothing if the First Family indeed has more than $1 billion outside the country as reported by Wikileaks a few years ago.
The question that remains to be answered is with such behaviour is the First Lady fit to lead the country?