TITLE to the Mugabe family's Borrowdale home commonly referred as the Blue Roof, and the Mount Pleasant property given to Bona Mugabe-Chikore — the late former President Cde Robert Mugabe's daughter — as a wedding gift in March 2014, will be transferred to the former First Family, Zanu-PF has reiterated.
Last week, Zanu-PF's commercial division, M and S Syndicate (Private) Limited, contested the registration of the upmarket properties cited as part of the late former President's estate. Through their lawyers Chihambakwe, Mutizwa and Associates, the company argued the properties, including a Waterfalls home, still belong to them and cannot be registered under the estate of the late former President.
The Mugabe family had listed the properties as part of the late former President's estate in a declaration filed at the Master of High Court. Zanu-PF's Secretary for Legal Affairs Mr Paul Mangwana said the position of the party remains that the properties will be transferred to the Mugabe family, adding the move is also in recognition of Cde Mugabe's contributions to the country.
"The leader of the party (President Mnangagwa) made it abundantly clear that the properties in question will be transferred to the family. That is the position of the party as communicated by the First Secretary," said Cde Mangwana.
"This also comes back to the issue of the relationship between the party and its former leader. He is the founding father of our beloved nation and that is one obvious reason why the President made that commitment."
The route taken by M and S, Cde Mangwana said, is legally correct in terms of corporate governance, but work is underway to finalise the issue with the shareholder (Zanu-PF).
"M and S Syndicate is legally correct that the properties in question belong to them. In terms of good corporate governance, their position is justified. However, the party is the shareholder and there will be communication between the shareholder and M and S Syndicate on how the properties will be transferred. I am not at liberty to share discussions between M and S Syndicate and the shareholder, which is Zanu-PF. That information will be shared at the appropriate time. The issue of the transfer is work in progress and the President made his commitment towards that issue very clear."
The Mugabe family appointed the late former President's daughter, Bona Mugabe-Chikore, as the executor of his estate. According to the family, Cde Mugabe, who died in Singapore in September this year after a long battle with prostate cancer, did not write a will for his vast wealth. He left behind wife, Mrs Grace Mugabe, daughter Bona and sons Robert and Chatunga, as well as Russel Goreraza (stepson).
Sources privy to the compilation of Cde Mugabe's estate told our Harare Bureau that at least three law firms — Uriri Attorneys-at-Law; DSL, a security services outfit; and Venturas and Samkange Legal Practitioners — are responsible for the onerous task.
Family lawyer, Mr Terrence Hussein of Hussein Ranchod, is reportedly superintending over the process.
Some close family members, who elected to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the matter, recently said that some of Cde Mugabe's wealth had already been divided up and might never be made public.
Family spokesperson Mr Walter Chidhakwa recently told this publication that the late revolutionary's belongings were distributed in accordance with traditional custom at a memorial held in Zvimba on October 19. The Blue Roof mansion is valued around US$9 million.