PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe wife, Grace is set to commission major upgrades at her “state of the art” Gushungo Dairy Project, state media reported Thursday.
The facility, which boats a 1,300 herd of cattle, producing about 8 000 litres of milk per day is set to be commissioned next month, according to ZBC radio.
Mugabe took her Zambia counterpart, Dr Christine Kaseba on a tour of the farm on Thursday. Dr Kaseba is in Zimbabwe accompanying husband, President Michael Sata on a state visit.
Sata was due to officially open the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo on Friday.
Gushungo Dairy was at the centre of a media storm in 2009 when global foods giant Nestle ordered its Zimbabwe unit to stop buying milk from the farm.
The move came after human rights groups called for a world-wide boycott of the Swiss multinational’s products over its links with the Mugabes.
However, Zanu PF officials reacted angrily to the development forcing the temporary closure of the local factory with the company accusing government officials and police of trying to force staff to accept milk deliveries.
Youth Empowerment and Indigenisation Minister, Saviour Kasukuwere and his Agriculture counterpart, Joseph Made visited the firm and accused senior executives of “imposing sanctions” on local suppliers.
Operations only resumed in January 2010 after a deal was reached under which Gushungo would make its deliveries to a national pool from which Nestle then sourced its requirements.
Meanwhile, Dr Kaseba also visited the Grace Mugabe Children’s Home in Mazowe valley along with several other projects the First Lady is carrying out in the area.
Strapping one of the facility’s children on her back, Mugabe took her counterpart on tour of the facility which comprises over 30 modern houses, all at different stages of completion. Some 24 orphaned children already live in three houses that have already been completed.
Work is also continuing on the Grace Mugabe Primary School with up to 1000 students expected to be enrolled when it is completed in December this year.