via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Bona’s opulent mansion present complete 25 June 2014 by Mary-Kate Kahari
The three-storey mansion, which has been constructed by a reputable Chinese construction firm, and almost the same size as the Mugabe’s famous Borrowdale “blue roof” mansion, will come as another bonanza for Nyepudzai, after President Mugabe surrendered his historic Mt Pleasant house, at 40 Quorn Road where he lived before he became prime minister in 1980, together with his first wife Sally Mugabe as an official present for his daughter who tied the knot in May to mysterious pilot husband, Simba Chikore.
Revelations of Bona’s mansion, which was first widely reported by local media, as belonging to Grace, with other sections speculating that, the mansion built at Mapfeni Farm, was Mugabe’s new mansion, come amid reports that Mugabe’s youngest son, Bellarmine Chatunga, is set to inherit his father’s Borrowdale palace, which Mugabe claims is a donation from his Zanu PF party.
“That mansion in Mazowe ndeya Bona (is for Bona),” said a staffer at Amai Mugabe Junior School in Mazowe, which is opposite to the massive property. “We got wind that the President has declared that their official residence in Borrowdale, is to be inherited by Chatunga. Although the boy is naughty, VaMugabe (Mugabe) has a soft spot for him. You know they say a child you make in your old age, represents your strength. Initially Bona, was meant to move into the Borrowdale mansion later, but Mugabe wants that mansion to be in Chatunga’s name. So an alternative has been found for Bona.”
The President’s Office insisted on a written fax, before being able to respond, to our questions. “We do not take direct calls from reporters. Please send us a written fax, with your inquiry,” said a press officer.
Bona’s mansion is coming at a heavy price for farmers and ordinary farm workers in the area. The first lady has been seizing land without ceasing since the land reform blitz began in 2000, turning Mazowe into a personal family fiefdom. Grace Mugabe, despite allegedly displacing hundreds of families, and costing a citrus concern its business after claiming more land on the company’s farm, argues that she needs the land to develop her many projects, including the expansion of her orphanage in the area. There are also plans to expand the Amai Mugabe Junior School, and ambitions of constructing a university, sources said this week.
The first family acording to press reports, is also linked to the eviction of over 900 families at Manzou Farm in Mazowe, following indications that the Mugabe’s wants to annex the property and turn it into a wildlife sanctuary.
“The land is no longer sufficient to sustain the projects the First Lady has on her sleeves,” said Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in Mashonaland Central, Martin Dinha, recently and publicly promising the Mugabes more land in his province.
“We are working on the papers to stretch the land so that she can have more land to do her projects. Some people might say ‘The First Lady is greedy, why does she want more land?’, but we are saying it is justified for her to have more land.”
Mazowe residents and farmers who spoke to this publication , say the new Mapfeni farm mansion, has been built using local materials, but most of the interior designs and security equipment is from Hong Kong and China. Some of the features of the imposing mansion, among other things includes:
- Two conical towers similar to the Great Zimbabwe towers on either side of the gate.
- Two metres high security wall.
- State of the art surveillance cameras.
- Luxurious carport.
- Swimming pool and modern gym.
- Numerous bedrooms and bathrooms.
- Guest house.
The first family’s other known mansions are in Hong Kong, and Malaysia. In Malaysia, Mugabe, reportedly owns another luxurious villa located in Bukit Tunku in Kaula Lumpur.
Bukit Tunku is famed for being the Beverly Hills of Malaysia, and is somewhat similar to Harare’s posh Borrowdale Brooke enclave housing the country’s powerful elites, where residents share almost the same address but with different house numbers and unique security provisions.