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Obert Mpofu isolated

by ZimLive
01 Oct 2019 at 07:01hrs | Views
Zanu-PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu was an isolated figure on Monday night after Zanu-PF and the government furiously rowed back from his comments that former president Robert Mugabe's Harare home would be turned into a museum.

Zanu-PF bought Mugabe a house in Mt Pleasant in 1983, and in 1999 donated land â€" about 12 hectares â€" for his retirement home in Borrowdale suburb. The Mugabes later bought five adjacent properties including one with a dam, stables, tennis court and swimming pool, substantially increasing the size of the Borrowdale estate where they later built their imposing mansion.

Following Mugabe's death earlier this month, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Zanu-PF would give his surviving spouse the title deeds to the two properties. Mugabe gave the Mt Pleasant property to his eldest daughter, Bona, as a wedding gift.

But in a dramatic announcement earlier Monday, Mpofu told the ZBC that Zanu-PF was "deliberating on converting the Blue Roof (Borrowdale house) to a museum or something that will benefit the party."

The announcement was greeted with surprise and also anger from Mugabe's former loyalists. Jonathan Moyo, a former minister in Mugabe's government before he was toppled in a conspiracy between Mnangagwa and the military in 2017, tweeted that Mnangagwa was "ever vindictive".

Saviour Kasukuwere, another of Mugabe's exiled former ministers, said on Twitter: "It won't happen."

Within hours, however, the information ministry put out a tweet contradicting Mpofu.

"Both Zanu-PF and the government are led by one principal, President Mnangagwa. His position regarding properties which are due to be transferred to the family of the late Cde RG Mugabe is that he will honour the commitments he made. Those properties will be transferred as planned," the tweet said.

The ZBC's 8PM news bulletin first went with Mpofu's story, but within the hour Zanu-PF spokesman Simon Khaya Moyo was wheeled out to buttress the government position, further isolating Mpofu.

"A few weeks ago, the president (Mnangagwa) stated without any equivocation that Zanu-PF was in the process of transferring title deeds of those properties to the Mugabe family. The process is on, the position has not changed," Khaya Moyo said.

Asked about the contradictions, a top government official told ZimLive: "There are a lot of people who are bitter with the former first lady, and they expressed their personal positions as official."

Mugabe family spokesman Leo Mugabe, asked if the family had been consulted before Mpofu's announcement, said: "Not at all."

The financing of the Blue Roof's construction which started in 2000, Mugabe stated in one interview, was mobilised from his own savings and donations. The property was constructed by Energro Projects of Serbia, a company which had close links to the Mugabes. It was completed in 2003.

The 25-bedroom mansion with two lakes and a helipad is commonly referred to as ‘Blue Roof' for its distinctive Chinese tiles, believed to have been a gift from Beijing.

Mugabe died in a Singapore hospital on September 6 at the age of 95. He was buried at his rural home in Kutama last Saturday after nearly a month of haggling between the family and the government.

The government wanted Mugabe buried at the National Heroes Acre, and for a while appeared to have convinced the family to go along with the plan before a sudden change of heart late last week. Mugabe's family said it was his expressed wish to be buried in Kutama because he had been "ridiculed" by Mnangagwa and military chiefs who executed the 2017 coup.

Source - ZimLive