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Grace Mugabe Ordered to Return Seized Property in Botched Diamond Ring Deal

FILE: Zimbabwe 1st Lady Grace Mugabe at 16th Zanu-PF Conference in Masvingo
FILE: Zimbabwe 1st Lady Grace Mugabe at 16th Zanu-PF Conference in Masvingo

The High Court has ordered First Lady Grace Mugabe to remove her representatives from three houses she took over after a Lebanese national failed to refund her $1,35 million she paid for a diamond ring bought in Dubai.

In a ruling made Wednesday, Justice Clement Phiri said Mrs. Mugabe should also ensure that all workers who lost their jobs at the three properties owned by the diamond seller, Jamal Ahmed, are reinstated.

The first lady’s attorney, Wilson Manase, refused to comment. Mrs. Mugabe left the country Tuesday for Singapore with her husband, President Robert Mugabe, who is on annual leave.

Ahmad is being represented by Beatrice Mtetwa, who told VOA Studio 7's Blessing Zulu that the judge expressed disappointment over the way the case was handled as armed guards refused to accept summons sent to Mrs. Mugabe.

“… The judge said he had been unhappy with the original retain of service and had directed the sheriff to resend the notice of set-down and to clearly state if he fails to serve and why ... and the sheriff had to again attempt service at Blue Roof and he failed to serve a notice of set-down because none of the security personnel at the premises were willing to accept service and none of them were willing to identify themselves.

Mtetwa said the sheriff could not affix the summons to the gate or door of Mrs. Mugabe's house in fear of breaching security protocols. “He had failed to do that because of an armed solder who barred him from further action.”

She noted that while they were in the middle of the hearing the judge was called elsewhere and came back later and then granted them an order for the removal of people who seized the houses belonging to Ahmed.

Mrs. Mugabe demanded a refund when the diamond ring, designed to mark her 20th wedding anniversary, was delivered after being polished.

She allegedly demanded an immediate refund.