'Sulking' Mugabe and wife Grace 'refuse to vacate state house' – reports

File: AP
File: AP

Former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe still has the keys to an official residence more than four months after he was forced to retire, a spokesperson has claimed.

George Charamba, who was Mugabe's spokesperson and is now the spokesperson for new president Emmerson Mnangagwa, told the privately-owned Standard newspaper on Sunday: "Someone is not telling the country that the former president still holds the keys for that house."

Residential side

Charamba's comments come after claims that laptops stored by the former first family in haulage containers at Zimbabwe House - the 'residential' wing of State House in central Harare - have gone missing.

Said Charamba: "[Mnangagwa] hasn't set foot at Zimbabwe House but how do you keep the keys to the property when there is someone who must come in?"

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Mugabe, 94, was persuaded to retire last November after a military takeover. He had been in power for 37 years.

'Sulking' Mugabe

The independent Daily News reported last week that "sulking" Mugabe and his wife Grace "are refusing to remove their property, including furniture and other valuables, from State House."

That's despite the fact that the former first family actually hadn't lived in Zimbabwe House since they moved permanently to their private Blue Roof residence in northern Harare 12 years ago. 

The State House building that Zimbabweans see on TV is the place for formal receptions - but the presidential living quarters are understood to be in Zimbabwe House.

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