HOME Affairs minister Obert Mpofu has said it is the responsibility of the former First Family to provide security for its private assets, but said the government is ready to step in if called upon.
Grace Mugabe last week bemoaned the reduced number of security personnel accorded her family after she alleged gold panners had invaded her Mazowe farm.
Grace alleged the panners had destroyed irrigation equipment, and stolen laptops from her Mazowe orphanage, claims dismissed as false by the Home Affairs minister on Sunday.
Asked to comment on Grace’s cries over reduced security personnel at her properties, Mpofu said it was the former First Family’s duty to provide security for its private assets and companies, but said his ministry “will only step in after assessing the situation”.
“I want to assure the nation that the security services are currently verifying and rationalising the security around the assets and the projects belonging to the former First Family and we want to assure the public that the concerns that have been raised by the former First Family will be speedily attended to with a view to providing enough security in areas that deserve to be secured,” he said when asked during a Sunday Press conference.
Asked to clarify which areas deserve to be secured, Mpofu said: “There are areas of a private nature; these are areas to do with private assets, private companies and I think it is really the responsibility of those owners of private entities to provide security.
“But there are some areas that will require security, which our security will advise on and we will provide security to those areas, but you know, we don’t really know which areas are being referred to as I speak. But as we are advised for the need on areas that the former First Family will require security from government, we will do so as gazetted by the State, we will do so.
“If it is a question of insufficient security, which is also an area we will be dealing with.”
Mugabe’s family has complained of alleged political persecution after the resignation of the former strongman, Robert Mugabe in November last year, citing, for example, the downsizing of security personnel.
Mpofu said the decision to “reduce the deployed personnel to the former First Family to a total of 16 police officers … was guided by Statutory Instrument (SI) 153/2017.”