By Fungi Kwaramba
There was a break-in at former first lady Grace Mugabe’s orphanage in Mazowe recently where valuables, including laptops, were stolen under suspicious circumstances.
The Daily News on Sunday can report that Grace now fears for the life of more than 100 orphans at her top-notch orphanage after the burglars got away with 31 laptops.
She said: “There is now anarchy here. Recently, we lost 31 laptops after thieves broke-in. We are now afraid that these people could rape the children”.
The Mugabes believe they have become vulnerable after President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government stripped them of the heavy security presence they used to enjoy.
Mugabe’s security personnel was scaled down after he was forced out of office in November last year.
A Statutory Instrument published in an extraordinary Government Gazette in terms of Presidential Pension and Retirement Benefits in December last year, set out the benefits that former statesmen are entitled to.
Mugabe or any former president will be provided with two private secretaries, two drivers, two personnel assistants and two office attendants — a massive reduction from the bloated staff allocated to him while still serving.
According to the extraordinary Government Gazette, Mugabe is entitled to no less than six security personnel, a number that can be increased whenever the sitting president determines so.
Sources told the Daily News on Sunday this week that the former first family now relies on relatives for security — after the police and officers from the Central Intelligence Organisation were gradually withdrawn.
“We now have very few people here. The police were withdrawn and now the former first lady is just an ordinary person,” said a source.
“Parameter fences have been destroyed and there is nothing the few security guards can do against scores of illegal gold miners”.
The break-in at Grace’s orphanage is the latest case of unexplained break-ins targeting the mighty and powerful.
Some of the high-profile politicians who went through such harrowing experiences include Mnangagwa; former Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo; former Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister Obert Mpofu; the late former chief justice Godfrey Chidyausiku and former Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi.
The break-in at Chidyausiku’s offices took place in 2014, where the thieves went away with a desktop computer and a television set among some of the items.
At Mpofu’s offices, in the 2015 break-in, nothing was stolen, while thieves went away with two laptops and other electrical gadgets, when they broke into Moyo’s offices in 2016.
In the Sekeramayi case, the break-in took place at his Borrowdale residence after his name was thrown into the succession race by Moyo, while he was a presenting a paper at Sapes Trust.
Mnangagwa has been probably the biggest victim, having suffered a record seven break-ins since 2014.
Most of these break-ins, despite being reported to the police, never got resolved or rather the outcome of the investigations has never been made public.
For the Mugabes, it never rains but pours for them.
With security now thin, their Smithfield Farm, which also houses the orphanage, was last week invaded by illegal artisanal miners who are suspected to be Zanu PF youths.
The invaders have since destroyed large acres of citrus plantations and irrigation equipment.
On Thursday, Grace confronted the illegal artisanal miners who now pose a threat to the thriving citrus plantation even though the former first lady has papers proving that she is the bona fide owner of the property.
In a report made to Mazowe Police Station on Thursday, Grace indicated that some of her properties have been stolen.
She said the illegal gold miners who threatened to beat her up, might be the thieves targeting her empire in Mazowe.
“The illegal activities also pose a security threat to my children’s home as the illegal panners are also seen loitering inside the home at night, and recently theft cases have occurred at the home,” she said in her recorded report.
With only skeletal security, after the State stripped her of “bodyguards”, Grace was accompanied to the police post by her nephew — who is now some sort of her close bodyguard. Daily News