Grace Mugabe has pleaded with Zimbabwe’s new leaders to allow her to keep her farms, and for a $1-billion university to be built and named after former president Robert Mugabe.
The former first lady has emerged as a key player in negotiations held on Thursday and Friday. Among her requests were that all the Mugabes’ properties, including more than 10 farms, be protected and that all streets and structures named after her husband remain unchanged.
The deal also included Mugabe’s $10-million (about R140-million) pension payout, inclusive of all previous benefits that the former leader enjoyed during his 37-year reign as president.
It was announced in August that the government was going to build a state-of-the-art university on Grace’s Manzou Farm in Mazowe at a cost of $1-billion (about R14-billion). It was to be established under the auspices of the Robert Mugabe Foundation, which would be custodian of the institution.
Sources said that Grace pleaded with mediators to make sure the new government did not reverse the proposed grants for the university.
“It is too early to tell whether the new government will fully agree on some of her proposals,” said one source.