Zimbabwe

Mrs Mugabe's farming empire

2009-09-27 10:18

Special Report

Johannesburg - Grace Mugabe, the wife of Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, owns dairy farms that sell up to a million litres of milk a year to food giant Nestl, London’s Sunday Telegraph reported.

Grace Mugabe took over six of the country’s most valuable white-owned farms around 2002, the newspaper said.

Mugabe, his wife and other members of his administration are the subject of European Union and United States sanctions as a result of their controversial 29-year rule over once-prosperous Zimbabwe.

Nestl, the multinational food company which is the largest customer of Grace Mugabe's dairy farm, is not obliged to comply with those sanctions as its headquarters are in Switzerland, the Telegraph said.

Owners forced out

Switzerland has its own set of measures, but Nestl insists it has not broken Swiss law.

On Saturday, the Daily Telegraph reported that Robert Mugabe himself had built up a secret personal farming empire including at least five white-owned farms from which the owners were forced out.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, Grace Mugabe's properties total about 12 000 acres, but her most important is Gushungo Dairy Estate, formerly known as Foyle Farm. It is located in Mazowe, about 10km north of Harare.

The farm is managed by Russell Goreraza, her son from her first marriage.

Her biggest customer, according to her staff and other industry insiders, is Nestl Zimbabwe, the local subsidiary of the Swiss company, the newspaper reported.

Vulnerable people

According to farm staff, the dairy's only other customers were personal callers at the premises.

When the Sunday Telegraph visited the farm, the milk cost $1 a litre.

A spokesperson at Nestl's global headquarters in Switzerland told the newspaper that in 2009 the company started purchasing milk on the open market from various suppliers on a strictly non-contractual basis.

"In certain instances, the milk available in the market would be from Gushungo Dairy Estate," the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

"During the recent crisis, Nestl has not considered moving its operations out of the country. By providing basic food products to Zimbabwean consumers, Nestl aims to meet the needs of the local population, many of whom are vulnerable and disadvantaged."

The newspaper also reported that pay and conditions for workers at the dairy were meagre.

A 25-year-old worker, with a child to care for, said she could not afford to buy the milk at $1 a litre.

"I get $40 a month, yet we sell lots and lots of milk," she told the Sunday Telegraph.

"Mrs Mugabe is here a lot, but doesn't talk to us, just the managers," she said.

- SAPA

Read more on:    grace mugabe  |  zimbabwe
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Century City - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Ratanga Road Southbound
    ROADWORKS - lane closure between Ocean Spirit Avenue and Century Boulevard (until mid April)
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Spine Road
    ROAD CLOSED between Weltevreden Drive and Seafarer Drive due to roadworks (until mid April)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Welcome on board the kalahari.com 24 hour sale on books!

Today only, buy 1 book and get 1 FREE on the top 100 books. Offer expires midnight 23 April. While stocks last. Shop now!

Get 50% off selected books!

Buy 2 books and get 50% off the second book. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300

Keep it together Text. Email. Social. With all the different ways to...

From R1399.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be constantly on the move, working too hard, networking and making sure everything is working and everyone is satisfied,...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.