Zimbabwean ex-president Robert Mugabe owns 21 farms in the southern African country, a source has revealed, according to the state-owned Herald newspaper.
The source was quoted by the newspaper as saying that Mugabe amassed the 21 farms during his reign as president of Zimbabwe, and was likely going to be “forced to surrender some of them”.
The source also revealed that the former president had leased some of his farms to white farmers, in a move that was viewed as being “hypocritical” of his rhetoric.
“There is an issue of farms that they (Mugabes) have been leasing to whites. Here was a President who was preaching one-person, one-farm, but who has 21 farms. But a good number which was being leased to white farmers. And he knows that the new government will have to want to choose one out of the 21,” the unnamed sources were quoted as saying.
The revelation came amid reports that the veteran politician was linked to a new political party that was set to wrestle power from his predecessor Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mugabe, who was ousted in November last year, reportedly criticised Mnangagwa and his allies last month, saying that they were “wrong” in removing him from power in November.
During a private birthday party at his Harare mansion, the 94-year-old ex-president demanded an apology from Mnangagwa for last year’s military operation that saw his 37-year rule coming to an end.
Mugabe claimed that the ruling Zanu-PF party still wanted to work with him but he was concerned over trusting his former comrades after they “shredded the [country’s] constitution”, reported The Standard.
“Can they be trusted again? Can our people vote for such a Zanu-PF, a Zanu-PF which shredded the constitution? I don’t know,” Mugabe was quoted as saying.
But, according to reports, Mugabe was now behind a former army brigadier, who quit the ruling Zanu-PF party last week to lead a new political party whose aim was likely to protect the nonagenarian’s “legacy”.
Ambrose Mutinhiri, a veteran of the 1970s war against white minority rule, reportedly met Mugabe on Sunday before announcing that he had formed an opposition party named the National Patriotic Front.
Mutinhiri resigned from parliament last week, citing the military intervention that pressured Mugabe into stepping down as his reason for cutting ties with the Zanu-PF party.
According to New Zimbabwe.com, Mugabe’s move had angered some within the ruling party, with some saying that the development may lead to him losing his farms and pension.
“… Mugabe will be forced to choose one out of 21 farms that he owns, and his successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa might have a re-think of the ex-Zanu-PF leader’s benefits,” the report said.