Former president Robert Mugabe will only be allowed to keep one farm in line with the government’s land policies, President Emmerson Mnangagwa says.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Independent Foreign Service, Mnangagwa said many families own more than one farm, implying it won’t just be the Mugabes who have to downsize their land holdings.

Getting evidence

“I am still receiving evidence of what the (former) first family had. When that process is complete they will select one farm and the rest will be given elsewhere,” Mnangagwa said.

“It’s not a question of voluntary giving up, but about complying with the policy.”

The Mugabes are reported to own at least 13 farms covering more than 16 000 hectares acquired since the launch of the country’s land reform programme 18 years ago.

Much of their property is in the fertile Mazowe valley, north of Harare, where the couple has a state-of-the-art dairy and yoghurt factory, and where Grace Mugabe runs an orphanage.

As early as January, two months after Mugabe had been forced to resign, Agriculture Minister Perrance Shiri was reported to have ordered an investigation into the property holdings of the former first family.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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