This article is taken from The Telegraph (UK)
GRACE Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s millionaire former First Lady forced from power in last year’s coup, has not paid her farm workers for months, despite living a luxury lifestyle paid for by the state she and her husband once ruled.
Workers on the Mugabes’ network of farms – several of which were appropriated from white farmers – have not received salaries for three months.
Robert and Grace Mugabe have a vast property portfolio in Zimbabwe and South Africa worth more than $68m.
Despite being ousted last year, the state still spends millions flying the couple by private jet for medical treatment in Singapore.
The Harare government also said this week that it would not extradite Grace (53) to South Africa, which issued an arrest warrant last Wednesday for allegedly attacking a 21-year-old model with an electrical extension chord in a Johannesburg hotel last year.
The former president bought a farm in 2000 but went on to seize a further four adjoining properties from white farmers, who were expelled without compensation. The family employs 100 workers across 12 farms.
Government ran the farms for the Mugabes and also secretly bought Zimbabwe’s most successful dairy in 2003 for Grace from a white farmer. She invested heavily in the dairy, but it has never yet covered its costs.
Most of their rural assets and the two expensive schools built by the ex-first lady on appropriated land are no longer fully operational since her husband was ousted from power in last November’s coup.
Farmers told reporters they were hoping Grace would pay them by Christmas Eve.
“We are worried for the last months, but we got a message we will be paid next week,” said one worker.
Grace, her associates, and the Zimbabwean government, did not respond to requests for comment.
This article was originally published by The Telegraph (UK).