By Philemon Jambaya
Former First Lady Grace Mugabe’s empire is teetering on the brink of collapse following reports that she will be stripped off powers to the US$7 million Mazowe Orphanage project that she had usurped,” Zim Morning Post can reveal.
This publication understands that the orphanage is under the government’s microscope, on basis that the project was a donation to the Zimbabwean government funded by a Chinese grant.
Grace, however turned the project into a personal investment contrary to the clauses of the government to government agreement.
According to the agreement, she was supposed to be the patron, not the owner of the orphanage.
Zim Morning Post can authoritatively report that the project which now houses the Grace Mugabe state-of-the-art junior and secondary schools was funded by the Chinese government under project Identification number 19993 in 2008 and the recipient, according to the grant proposal seen by the Zim Morning Post, is the Zimbabwean government specifically the First Lady’s office.
The school was built on a 7 720 square metre plot and it was supposed to house at least 900 orphans and the less privileged but Grace turned into a private school for high profile people children who were now paying fees at a premium.
According to the documents seen by Zim Morning Post, the grant was meant to assist the government, while Grace Mugabe Foundation was roped in as an implementing partner.
“This project is the same project with the Defence College of Zimbabwe where the National Army was brought in this deal as an implementing partner and after its completion it was handed over to Government that is what Grace was supposed to do,” revealed a source close to the Government.
According to the documents gleaned by this publication, Grace Mugabe Foundation was supposed to partner Anhui Foreign Economic Construction CO.Ltd (AFECC), State owned Company in China.
Government has however distanced itself to reports that it is investigating the matter.
Deputy Information minister Energy Mutodi said the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commision (ZACC) was the responsible body to deal with Grace, should she be found to be a person of interest in the Mazowe Orphanage matter.
“This is just grapevine, the executive does not investigate anyone rather this is done by the police and the anti-corruption commission
“It is from these institutions that you can get an indication if an investigation has been opened against Grace Mugabe.
“Government is not a law unto itself. The law operates separately through institutions mandated to administer it,” Mutodi told Zim Morning Post on Monday.
Zim Morning Post also understands that staffers at her Mazowe campus are leaving en-masse because of lack of incentives they used to enjoy during Grace’s era.
Grace allegedly abused her powers as First Lady and was granted a loan from CBZ bank without collateral putting her on the top of the list of bad debtors with a debt of US$4.5 million.
CBZ had to engage Biti and Associates to institute litigation with the view of recovering the money.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa is on record saying that Grace’s assets will be safe but legality issues are likely to affect this pledge.
It is also not clear which properties are registered in Grace or her late husband ’s name but indications are that it is certain that the bullet holes riddled Highfield house is one of the few properties registered in the late Robert Mugabe’s name. Zim Morning Post