Former President Robert Mugabe’s daughter, Bona Mugabe, is reported to have hired Chinese contractors to construct a new home for her family, on state land which had been earmarked for the construction of a school. Bona and her husband Simba Chikore wanted to build a hillside mansion along Umwinsidale Road on the outskirts of Harare.
Chikore is reported to have visited the site in June before construction started in October. However, all work on the mansion had to be halted after the Zimbabwe Defence Forces seized power in a military intervention codenamed Operation Restore Legacy in November. The military takeover ultimately resulted in the resignation of Mugabe. The Chinese contractors abandoned the site after Mugabe lost power. The site is now under police guard.
Rusty Markham, councillor for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change Party, told the Telegraph:
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This was City of Harare land. Planning years ago was that a school would have been built on this site. It is a mystery how this couple landed up with this property.
Bona and Simba are reported to have left the country for Malaysia where Bona is expected to give birth to her second child. Simba who had been named Chief Operating Officer of struggling national airline, Air Zimbabwe, is reported to have quit his post a few weeks before the military intervention.
More: Daily Mail