Mugabe quits $500 000 a year Dubai mansion

Source: Mugabe quits $500 000 a year Dubai mansion – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 6, 2017

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has stopped renting a luxury property in an opulent United Arab Emirates (UAE) suburb, a top government official confirmed in reports that appeared at the weekend.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper reported on Sunday that Mugabe, who was reportedly renting the property for his children, had since moved out.

While Mugabe’s spokesperson, George Charamba told the Sunday Times that the Zanu PF leader had been renting the property, in 2015 it was reported that First Lady Grace Mugabe had bought a house in the same neighbourhood for around $1 million, according to a Dubai estate agent, who claimed to have sold her the property.

“As a responsible father, President Mugabe rented that property for his son, who was studying in Dubai. The property is no longer there,” Charamba said.

Mugabe’s two sons, Robert Jnr and Chatunga Bellarmine, were reportedly moved to South Africa in January this year.

The relocation followed an “August 2016 incident” involving Robert Jnr that remains shrouded in mystery.

Early this year, a legal row over the purchase of a $1,35 million diamond ring by Grace from Lebanese businessman, Jamal Ahmed, opened a can of worms, revealing that the Mugabes were paying up to $500 000 annually in rentals for the upmarket villa in Emirates Hills, Dubai.

“The second respondent’s family rents a 10-bedroomed villa at the Emirates Hills in Dubai and the address of the villa is J11. I am able to say that this is an exclusive and upmarket area, where annual rentals are around $500 000,” Ahmed revealed in court papers following the botched ring deal.

Mugabe’s ex-mansion — Villa J11 on Julnar 2 Street — is, according to the Sunday Times, down the road from Villa L35 on Lailak Street reportedly owned by South African President Jacob Zuma.

Zuma is currently in the eye of a storm, with pressure mounting on the governing African National Congress party to recall him on accusations he has allowed a family of Indian origin, the Guptas, to capture the State.

Emirates Hills boasts a championship golf course and “wide, sparkling lakes”.

The estate agent, who claimed he sold the Emirates Hills house to Grace, told the Sunday Times “anyone with a pile of cash could buy a villa in Dubai in no time, with few questions asked”.

“If you’ve got money in the bank, you can do a money transfer. If the money is in cash, which means it’s not legit, we have to find other means. But it’s not a problem,” the agent was quoted saying.

Other famous residents of Emirates Hills include Asif Ali Zardari, husband of assassinated former Pakistani President Benazir Bhutto, who in 2004 was jailed eight years for shady arms deals and money laundering, and former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, deposed by the military in 2006 before being charged with tax evasion in
absentia.

Privacy, security, secrecy and discretion are the watchwords at Emirates Hills. The estate is surrounded by high walls and fences.

Access is strictly controlled and surveillance cameras track visitors.

Architectural plans must be approved by the developer, the State-backed Emaar group, that also constructed the famous Burj Khalifa.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 1
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    Ndonga 2 months

    There is something wrong with the maths here.

    We have been told by Greedy Grace several times that Mugabe only earns $8000.00 a month and is really a poor man.

    How then can he rent a house in Dubai for his children at a cost of $500 000.00 a year? By my calculator this means that this rent alone would eat up 62.50 of his monthly salaries. That’s if he had no other monthly expenses but the rent for this “luxury property” . And, as any four year old could have told him and Greedy Grace, there are only 12 monthly salaries in a year…

    And behold this financial genius…he still has enough money left over from his salary to buy his beautiful wife a $1.35 million diamond ring.

    With financial skills these, its no wonder that he managed to turn our Zimbabwe from being the bread basket of Africa to its worst basket case.

    And we its wandering children are still being forced to seek exile in far off, cold and inhospitable lands.

    And we wonder why so many of our leaders in Africa are calling for the shutting down of the International Criminal Court.