Unions demand deposed Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe repays HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of pounds


ZIMBABWE’s trade union leaders have demanded Robert Mugabe to hand back hundreds of millions of pounds to the nation’s treasury.

He is believed to have amassed a fortune worth more than £750million during his 37 years in power, according to leaked CIA documents,

But as the 93-year-old continues a selfimposed house arrest in his £7.5million mansion, an executive meeting of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions in Macheke, 70 miles south-east of capital Harare, will demand the returning of fortunes owned by Mugabe and his extended family.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared a three-month amnesty for the return of public funds hidden abroad, although sources said that he is not expected to include his old mentor in his public stance against corruption.

Vimbai Zinyama, of the ZCTU which represents more than 300,000 workers, said: “This is public money.

“It belongs to the people of Zimbabwe and it should be returned.

“With each days that passes, so too does the possibility of the money disappearing increase.

“His wife Grace has already gone to Asia.

“Even if he were included in President Mnagagwa’s amnesty, it will be too late by then.”

Last week it emerged that Mugabe had overspent his official annual budget by £32million, exceeding his travel budget by £17million in six months alone.

A senior Treasury official is reported to have said: “On one occasion this year, for instance, his wife took about £2.5million during a foreign trip.

“There is also another example. The money used to buy their mansion in Sandhurst, Sandton, Johannesburg in South Africa, came from public funds.

“At one point Grace also demanded that Patrick Chinamasa (who remains finance minster under the new regime) buy cars for her and had to find the money.

There was a pattern of systematic looting of public funds.”

Gucci Grace’s penchant for bling saw her dubbed the First Lady of Shopping.

She once spent £120,000 on a single spree in Paris.

She owns a £1million diamond ring and 3,000 pairs of shoes, eclipsing Imelda Marcos who left behind 1,200 pairs when she fled the Philippines.

Her pursuit of luxury extended to two Rolls-Royces, two Range Rovers, two Mercedes-Benz S-Class and an Aston Martin.

She is said to have paid almost £500,000 in cash to become the first customer to purchase Rolls Royce’s new Phantom VIII with extended wheel base.

Claimed to be the quietest car in the world, it comes compete with triple glazing and sound insulation to better shield Grace from the realities of Zimbabwe’s poverty.

Her son Russel Goreraza also imported two Rolls Royces, while the couple’s youngest son, Chatunga, recently posted a video showing himself pouring £200-a-bottle Armand de Brignac champagne over a £45,000 watch on a night out in South Africa.

He boasted he owned the timepiece as “daddy runs the whole country”.

Robert Mugabe remains the owner of a vintage Rolls Royce Phantom IV, of which just 18 were built and sold, chiefly, to royalty.

It is said to be worth more than Zimbabwe’s GDP.

He also owns a Mercedes-Benz S600L that was custom built in Germany to his specifications, worth a cool £850,000.

Mugabe’s assets extend to a £3million Hong Kong villa and a controlling stake in the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company.

But critics remain sceptical that he would be made to give up his fortune.

Former Zanu-PF member Ephraim Tapa said: “Mnangagwa himself has benefited from the regime, is worth many millions and wants to show the world this is a new beginning.

“I sense there is little appetite to go after him.”

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