The Mashonaland Central provincial mining director, one T. Ndhlovu, has issued a memorandum inviting miners to show interest in mining activities on 10 farms in the province, including Foyle and Smithfield.
Foyle Estate is owned by the former First Family, the Mugabes’ Gushungo Dairy while Smithfield Farm is where an orphanage set up by the former first lady, Grace Mugabe is located. The memo reads in part:
All miners who used to hold mining titles (claims) in the above-named farms are invited to report to the Mashonaland Central provincial mining office in Bindura and re-inspect them as soon as possible.
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We are extending this grace period for 60 days with effect from September 19, 2019, beyond which we will assume all those who hold such interests would have restored them.
The Mugabes grabbed vast tracts of farmland in Mazowe at the height of their power. They went on to establish their businesses on the farms, driving out small-scale gold miners in the process.