President Emmerson Mnangagwa is building a majestic house in the leafy Borrowdale suburb in Harare, which is likely to become his retirement home.
The Daily News crew visited the president’s new home being built on an expansive piece of land with exotic bricks and other accessories fit for a king.
It is not clear how the project is being funded but government insiders claim it is bankrolled by the fiscus with the president expected to pay back the monies.
Recently, opposition legislators tried to table a motion in Parliament to discuss the palatial mansion under construction.
MDC Member of Parliament Virginia Zengeya asked Local Government minister July Moyo during Question Time in the National Assembly what government policy was with regards to the president using State funds to build a lavish mansion.
“I am giving reference to the construction of the private residence which is a multi-billion-dollar property which is being constructed for His Excellency, honourable Mnangagwa in Borrowdale, off Crowhill,” she said amid loud interjections from Zanu PF backbenchers.
Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda swiftly stopped her in her tracks.
“Order! Honourable member, the question does not arise,” Mudenda told Zengeya.
Mnangagwa has a modest house in Greystone Park in Harare, has a farm in Kwekwe called Sherwood and a rural home in Mapanzure near Zvishavane.
Contacted for comment yesterday, presidential spokesperson George Charamba declined to be drawn into commenting about the MDC’s motion in Parliament, saying he was not a Member of Parliament.
“Talking about what he is doing by way of investments, that’s really another ballgame altogether. And don’t behave as if the president will be in that State House until his last days on this earth,” Charamba said.
“So there is a distinction between a facility which is availed to him by virtue of the fact that he is the head of State, a sitting head of State and then his investments which he does as VaMnangagwa (Mr) in his private capacity. I laughed when I saw that debate. This man, have you been to his farm?”
Asked if he was referring to Sherwood, Charamba said: “Please, just ask him to invite you to his farm you will see the farming wonders he is doing there.”
Asked if he was suggesting Mnangagwa was a “master farmer”, Charamba, tongue-in-cheek, retorted: “Well, that sounds colonial. I don’t want to use a colonial term. What I know is he is one of the foremost farmers in this country. If you go to GMB where he delivers his produce, if you hear the figures and then you compute that into dollars and cents. That land has no rest.”
Charamba said Mnangagwa was a very successful maize, soya and wheat farmer and was earning good money from his farming venture that qualifies him to build a home for himself through hard work and thrift.
“With level of output at his farm and that he has been in government from 1980 and that he is a lawyer, I would not bother to pay attention to a motion which talks about his capacity to build a home for his family. I mean, it’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous, yes,” Charamba told the Daily News.
“There is serious production there and his young brother manages the farm. You know he was doing between seven and 10 tonnes per hectare. The general average that is being done in this country at most has been three to five t/ha.”