Zimbabwe Mugabe Gushungo Akasiya $10 Million No Will
Zimbabwe's former President Robert Mugabe left behind $10 million, 10 cars, a farm and several homes, but apparently no will, his estate revealed Tuesday.
The state-run Herald newspaper reported Tuesday that Mugabe's daughter, Bona, registered the estate with the High Court on behalf of the family.
The family's lawyers say they are still searching for a will but if one is not found, the estate will be divided between former first lady Grace Mugabe and four children.
Mugabe died in September at a Singapore hospital two years after he was forced out of office by his Zanu-PF party and the military.
Mugabe has long been rumored to have amassed a massive fortune during his 37-year rule.
A 2001 diplomatic cable sent by the U.S. Embassy in Harare and released by WikiLeaks said Mugabe was rumored to have more than $1 billion worth of assets in Zimbabwe and overseas, which "include everything from secret accounts in Switzerland, the Channel Islands and the Bahamas, and castles in Scotland.”
News of his wealth comes days after the United Nations warned that millions of people in Zimbabwe are facing food insecurity.
“Zimbabwe is on the brink of man-made starvation," and the number of people needing help is "shocking" for a country not in conflict, Hilal Elver, U.N. special rapporteur on the right to food, said.
Zimbabwe's former President Robert Mugabe died with $10m (£7.7m) cash in the bank, a legal letter from his daughter quoted by state media says.
But he appears not to have left a will, according to the family's lawyer.
Mugabe, who died in September aged 95, was ousted in 2017 after 37 years in power.
Separately, the UN has said it is expanding its operation in the country as about half of Zimbabwe's population faces severe hunger.
There had always been rumours about Mr Mugabe's wealth, including him owning a Scottish castle and a $1m property in Asia.
But there was no mention of these in a letter by his daughter, Bona Chikowore, to the high court, quoted by the state-owned Herald newspaper.
Some other assets, including four houses, 10 cars, a farm and an orchard are listed, but lawyer Terrence Hussein told the BBC "none of the properties... are in his name".
Two houses in upmarket suburbs of the capital, Harare, are in the name of the governing Zanu-PF party, Mr Hussein said. "The 10 cars are a vintage car collection which frankly had value only to him," Mr Hussein added
Ms Chikowore's letter makes no mention of other farms that Mugabe had been reported to have gained ownership of after they were seized during the country's controversial land reform programme.
This is the first stage of compiling the former president's assets, but "the suggestion that the Estate has been finalised is untrue and misleading. The long drawn out process has only begun," the family's lawyer told the BBC.In Zimbabwe, if a person dies without a will, the assets are divided between the spouse and children. Mugabe is survived by his wife, Grace, and four children - including his step-son. The UN's World Food Programme (WFP) had said it plans to more than double the number of people it helps in Zimbabwe to more than four million. Nearly eight million people overall are in need, it added.
The WFP will provide rations of cereal, pulses and vegetable oil and a protective nutrition ration for children under five. "We're deep into a vicious cycle of sky-rocketing malnutrition that's hitting women and children hardest and will be tough to break," said WFP Executive Director David Beasley in a statement. "With poor rains forecast yet again in the run-up to the main harvest in April, the scale of hunger in the country is going to get worse before it gets better."
Zimbabwe is currently going through a severe economic crisis, with rising inflation, compounded by a drought across southern Africa. It had been hoped that the the post-Mugabe era, under President Emmerson Mnangagwa, would bring a change in the country's economic fortunes. But the current government has been accused of economic mismanagement and human rights abuses.