There appears to be some division in the ruling Zanu PF party with indications that some top party officials want the late former president Robert Mugabe’s Blue Roof mansion to be converted into a museum while others are pushing for the property to be transferred to Mugabe’s family.
Barely 24 hours after Mugabe’s burial in Zvimba communal lands, ZBC News Online quoted party information secretary Obert Mpofu as saying the Blue roof will be set aside to benefit the party instead of the Mugabes.
A post on the state-controlled news organization’s Facebook page and Twitter handle indicated that the party wants to fully control the Blue Roof in Harare’s upmarket Borrowdale suburb.
“ZANU PF Secretary for Administration, Dr. Obert Mpofu, says the ruling party is considering converting the Blue Roof residence into a Museum or a Monument that will benefit the party,” read the message posted Monday.
An hour later, the Ministry of Information also issued a message on its Twitter account, showing that only President Emmerson Mnangagwa has the power to make a concrete decision on the ownership of the property.
“Both Zanu PF and the govt are led by one principal, President @edmnangagwa. His position regarding properties which are due to be transferred to the family of the late Cde RG Mugabe is that he will honour the commitments he made. Those properties will be transferred as planned,” read the tweet.
Contacted for comment, Mpofu said Information Secretary Nick Mangwana has sorted out the conflicting reports over the transfer of the Blue Roof to the Mugabe family.
“Mangwana (Nick) has sorted out that issue. Get in touch with him.”
Mangwana and presidential spokesperson George Charamba were not responding to calls on their mobile phones.
Independent political commentator Bekezela Maduma Fuzwayo said the conflicting reports over the fate of the Blue Roof “is an indication that there is a rift between Zanu PF officials on the transfer of the property following the burial of Mugabe in Zvimba communal lands instead of the National Heroes Acre. The party officials are fuming over this issue.”
Believe Gaule of the ruling Zanu PF party told VOA Studio 7 in a live broadcast that the burial of Mugabe in Zvimba communal lands, Mashonaland West province, showed that the Mugabes are not thankful for what the government did for the late former president whose health costs while in Singapore were catered for by the Zimbabwean government.
“They are behaving in a very bad way. They agreed that Mugabe will be laid to rest at the National Heroes Acre but changed their minds and buried him at a private function in Zvimba. This is rubbish. They should never have done this.”
Zanu PF on Saturday blasted the Mugabes for laying to rest the late former president in Zvimba, saying the decision was “unfortunate”.
The party noted that “the former president was the founding father of this nation and trivializing his remains by scandalously throwing it from pillar to post, particularly after an amicable agreement had been reached with the family that his remains will be interred at the National Shrine is belittling the later revolutionary icon.”