Mugabe shows mansion to world

HARARE - African presidents, billionaires, rich local businessmen, diplomats and socialites yesterday attended the opulent wedding of President Robert Mugabe’s first daughter Bona.

In the process, the estimated 4 000 guests were given a rare opportunity to view the First Family’s lavish private home in Borrowdale, which has for long remained a secret.

Mugabe’s massive property, which is reportedly worth more than $10 million was, according to presidential spokesperson George Charamba, built through donations from Zanu PF and unknown well-wishers.

Realising that hosting the expensive wedding at the mansion — popularly known as Blue Roof — was going to expose Mugabe’s mansion which would ultimately lead to questions on how the 90-year-old could have built such a house in a poor country like Zimbabwe, Charamba was quoted in the State media pre-empting the lavish nature of the house.

“The venue of the wedding is a peculiar one. It is not a public place.

“It is actually within the grounds of the home of the First Family and this is a home which is distinct from the official residence of the President.

“You might recall that the land on which that home stands was bought by the party, Zanu PF, for their leader. Not a single cent came from the State.”

“Secondly, the structures which have become the private home of the First Family were painstakingly put up through a combination of private savings and donations from well-wishers.

“That makes the place not just a house for now, but a home for all times for the Mugabes, in and out of office.

“That immediately raises security concerns not just in the present, but for all times. So access to the venue of the wedding can neither be random nor unlimited,” said Charamba in comments that raised eyebrows.

Organisers of the event kept a tight lead on pictures, amid concerns that guests would take pictures of the monstrous house and publish them.

Inside the controversial residence of the First Family, it was off bound for the private media, with cameras, cellphones and smart phones switched off for guests.

To keep a lid on the nuptials, Mugabe’s neighbours were formally advised not to take photographs of the invited guests who trooped to the highly-securitised residence of the Zanu PF leader’s home, in Benzes, BMWs, Bentleys and off-terrain monsters.

Shuttle buses that ferried the guests from Heritage Primary School to the Mugabe residence — were emblazoned with the faces of 24-year-old Bona and Simba Chikore, whose age remains a mystery.

Mugabe’s imposing villa was built amid controversy at a time when Zimbabwe was going through an economic meltdown — and until yesterday very few people have had the privilege of viewing the house.

Reports at the time the house was built said that marble was  imported from Italy. The finest European crystal, sunken baths with jacuzzi fittings and oriental rugs are all part of the décor. The soaring ceilings were reportedly decorated by Arab craftsmen.

At the time in an interview with Sky News, Mugabe denied that the mansion had been built with Zimbabwean taxpayers’ money.

He said a Serbian company had donated material and labour at cost, supplemented by gifts of fine timber from former Malaysian Prime Minister Makathir Mohammad and roof tiles from China.

“You say it is lavish because it is attractive,” Mugabe told Sky News.

“It has Chinese roofing material which makes it very beautiful, but it was donated to us — the Chinese are our good friends, you see.”

Out of 18 heads of state invited, three made it, South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, Equatorial Guinea’s Obiang Nguema, and Zambian leader Michael Sata.

Zuma, arrived at  Blue Roof hard on the heels of Mugabe who had “arrived” at his home in his armour-plated Mercedes Benz; with bodyguards in dark suits jogging in front of the imposing vehicles that included a Royce Rolls used by Bona.

South Africa billionaire Patrick Matsoepe, whose estimated net worth is $2,7 billion, was also among the elite guests who converged at Mugabe’s plush Borrowdale home, to witness the marriage.

The relationship between Mugabe and Motsepe is not clear.

Africa’s longest serving ruler Nguema of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea, who is reported to be one of the richest on the continent, keenly followed proceedings.

Comments (24)

They had such sophisticated mansions but today they departed this world and whereever their souls are today and forever they are together with those who slept rough. The Gaddafis, Mobutus, Idi Aminis, Saddams, you name it. So whats the point.

Ziziharinanyanga - 2 March 2014

THE STORY OF THE DAY SHOULD HAVE BEEN BONA AND SIMBA'S MARRIAGE INSTEAD OF FOCUSSING PRESIDENT'S MANSION. SEVERAL REPUTABLE MAGAZINES AND NEWSPAPERS HAVE PUBLISHED IMAGES/PICTURES OF THE MANSION. THE INTERNET HAS PRODUCED THE PICTURES. IT IS NOT SURPRISING THAT YOUR GUTTER DAILY NEWS EDITOR, WHO IS COMPUTER SEMI LITERATE IS UNAWARE OF THIS. AT LEAST PRESIDENT MUGABE, THE LEADER OF ZANU(PF), BUILT HIS OWN MANSION. COMPARE TO THE ONCE-UPON-A-TIME PRIME MINISTER AND LEADER (FUEHRER) OF MDC-T TSVANGIRAI WHO WANTS TO ARM-TWIST THE GOVERNMENT TO SELL HIM STATE PROPERTY. WHAT A SHAME?

Rabison Nyundo(THE HAMMER) - 2 March 2014

dailynews u are pathetic.....guess u got to stick to your agenda at whatever cost..... congrat samba and bona.....any sane person would know that this was about u two

zimbo - 2 March 2014

Wadadisa mwana congratulation be a good mother and look after your husband. i am happy for you simba/bona

deeds - 2 March 2014

congragulations bona and simba. u inspire others. zvemajerasi ndozvinei

piri - 2 March 2014

it looks like the writer of this piece has very little knowledge about the Simba&Bona wedding as well as the said Mugabe mansion. whatever little info you appended here must have been borrowed in some noisy bar in the wee hours of the night. this paper you represent must remain relevant- your dislike for the Mugabe's and his party and your love for the other side does not excite your readers. what readers want even in the opposition you so represent is full info and credible analysis,SHAME SHAME SHAME

cde tongai - 3 March 2014

We want to know why the private media was not allowed to cover this wedding on the ground. Daily News please dig deep to uncover what they wanted to hide.

Musorodamba - 3 March 2014

It is quite clear that people like @ Rabison Nyundo, @Zizharinanyanga, @zimbo, and @Tongai are goons of this corrupt, murderous regime that has made Zimbabwe a basket case in the past 34 years! These hired guns will do anything to defend this country's well known dictatorship and kleptocracy. Please continue to tell it like it is Daily News, you are our only hope!!

Kamba - 3 March 2014

Chema hara mushana....!

Gondo - 3 March 2014

@ziziharinanyanga, you are as concerned as i am. i worry a lot my brother about where most of these people and us will be living as soon as they they live this world and all people would have sang praises to them at their burial. i hope the parable of the richman and lazarus will not be to them on the negative side. mugabe is a good a man but i believe what he has gotten himself into may be dangerous for the coming world i pray and wish him the best

s - 3 March 2014

I guess everybody is pathetic to a point. This is a country where people literally die of hunger, where villagers are threatened literally by the raging waters at Tokwe-Mukosi, unemployment is at 90% and rising, yet the head of state sees nothing wrong in the slaughter of 90 beasts to celebrate his 90th birthday, followed by monstrous show of opulence. The question is, should we the hungry, unemployed and sick, put away our sorrows and celebrate with our tormentor?

diliza - 3 March 2014

@ diliza People's lives cannot stop because you are poor and hungry. If you are born with the idea that the state will look after you , you are mistaken. Mugabe as an individual has got his own life. Why can't you build your own mansion and live up to 90 years and celebrate it in the style you want? Nothing stops you from doing that.

diliza - 3 March 2014

Poor country like ZIMBABWE, WHAT DO YOU MEAN, ZIMBABWE IS NOT POOR AND GUSHUNGO HAS THE RIGHT LIKE ANY OTHER CITIZEN TO BUILD A HOME OF HIS OWN CHOICE, AT LIST HE DIDN'T USE STATE FUNDS LIKE KANDLA.

NDABEZINHLE NKOMO - 4 March 2014

There is nothing wrong with what is gud, congrats to Simba n Bona u truely have made ma day among other, Jah bless for ever.

mawinto - 5 March 2014

they are just youngsters like any other parents do have... actually I am happy for them. we differ in what we have as people but the same as we are humans

winstone mbayo - 5 March 2014

they are just youngsters like any other parents do have... actually I am happy for them. we differ in what we have as people but the same as we are humans

winstone mbayo - 5 March 2014

actually it took him twelve years to complete his dwelling. which shows that he has been through hardships to build the place. actually his place is not bad for someone who has been president for years and run a successifull dairy business.

marshal - 5 March 2014

It's called GRACELANDS, Mr Reporter. NDiwe wandatanga kunzwa kuti panonzi paBlue Roof. Do u recall the house was built at a time that the Pay-for-House Scheme collapsed? WIth allegations that the Ministry of Local Govt, then under the late Chikowore, diverted the savings of poor Zimbos that they were contributing into the Pay-for-your-House Scheme, which was run by the Ministry of Local govt. The noble scheme collapsed when the construction of this house started

Tariro - 5 March 2014

Imi vanhu mese uyai kuroma kunodzidziswa chitendero. Munojaja vamwe sei. Kutonga ndekwamwari. Uye imi zvenyu hamusati matiudza. Hanzi allegations will remain allegations until judgement is passed. Tanzwa nevatoura zvevamwe vasingataure zvavo. Ini ndinoti Bona na Simba maita zvakanaka mwari akukomborerei. Rerai mhuri muchitungamirirwa namwari.

martha - 6 March 2014

wadadisa bona hanzvadzi and to simba mukuwasha ,we wish u a happy marriage.may the lord's face continue to shine upon yo marriage.be blsd

ngonidzashe chikomba - 6 March 2014

His age remains a mystery? No it is not those who know him say he is 40 so there is a good 16 years gap difference, quite mature handiti.

Maita Manyuka - 6 March 2014

Martha ku Roma kunodzidziswa chitendero chipi, kupira vakafa? Kudaidzira ngome vapedza misa? Tinoona ma witch doctors akapfeka ruzariro musi we Sunday mangwana vanenge varipabasa rekupa vamwe mishonga yekuitisa mabasa erima ndokowoti huyai?

Maita Manyuka - 6 March 2014

East africans are confused about you guys, it is your country, mugabe is old time story threw it away, you need to construct your contry hehehee but other wise soon, yourcontry will be taken by chinese, and they are lunatics

tilla - 12 June 2014

Mugabe - you are a thief, a destroyer of lives and value, the rapist of your entire nation! May you get Ebola and die in tremendous pain - then suffer an eternity in the fires of hell, where you will meet those you killed, made homeless and ruined in your endless lust for power and more money.

Bonzo - 20 October 2014

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