April 22, 2024

Divorce court papers seen by the BBC allege that the daughter of Zimbabwe’s ex-President Robert Mugabe owned 25 residential properties, including a Dubai mansion, worth a total of around $80m (£64m).

Bona Mugabe filed for divorce from former pilot Simba Mutsahuni Chikore in March.

Mr Chikore wants to split their assets, which also include 21 farms, he says.

Ms Mugabe has not yet commented on the claims but will be able to do so.

A source close to the Mugabe family told the BBC that the former president had nothing in his name when he died, although he received £10m from the state as part of his pension. The source also questioned whether Bona Mugabe owned all the assets listed by her former partner.

However, Zimbabweans have reacted with shock and outrage to the extent of the wealth allegedly accumulated by just one of Mr Mugabe’s children.

Luxury vehicles, farming equipment and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash were also mentioned in the divorce papers.

Some of the 21 farms were allegedly acquired by the Mugabe family during the contentious takeover of white-owned farms in the early 2000s, and despite the government’s policy of “one-man one-farm”.

Mr Chikore, who is also demanding joint custody of the couple’s three children, says the assets were acquired solely and jointly during their marriage, through inheritance and donations from the late president for work carried out on his behalf.

He adds that the assets he has listed are a drop in the ocean, compared to the wealth Ms Mugabe owns outright.

In response, George Charamba, who was Mr Mugabe’s spokesman and now serves in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s office, denied that the couple owned 21 farms.

“All Agricultural Land belongs to the State, with farmers using it on LEASE BASIS,” he tweeted.

He added that no-one should “build any politics or arguments around so-called 21 farms allegedly owned by Cde Bona and her estranged hubby”.

Image caption,

Bona Mugabe pictured with her father, former President Mugabe, during his 91st birth celebrations, and mother, Grace

It is unclear when the divorce case – being heard by a court in the capital, Harare – will end.

Ms Mugabe and Ms Chikore were married at a lavish wedding in 2014 that was attended by several African heads of state – and was broadcast live on state television.

Mr Mugabe died in 2019 at the age of 95, reportedly without leaving a will. He is survived by his wife Grace, Bona, two sons and a step-son.

He was in power in Zimbabwe from the time of independence in 1980 until he was ousted in 2017 by Mr Mnangagwa, his former ally-turned-rival.

 

 

 

 

 

Credit: By Shingai Nyoka
BBC News, Harare

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