Former Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe has left behind $10 million and some properties, but without a will for onward distribution.
The development provoked the High Court to call for an edict meeting this week to appoint an executor, the state-owned The Herald reported.
Mugabe died on September 6, 2019 in Singapore where he was receiving treatment for prostate cancer he had been battling for almost 13 years. He was 95.
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Mugabe’s daughter Bona Nyepudzani Mutsahuni-Chikore, according to the Herald wrote to the High Court on October 21 to register the father’s estate. It listed assets including $10 million in a local bank, four houses, 10 cars, one farm, a rural home, and an orchard.
Mugabe’s widow, Grace was listed as the sole surviving spouse while Bona, Robert, Bellarmine and Russel Goreraza were listed as the surviving children.
According to The Herald, Terrence Hussein of Hussein Ranchod & Company, the Mugabe family lawyer wrote to the High Court asking to register the death of Mugabe.
Hussein told the Court that no will had been found and correspondence had already been circulated to other law firms to establish if the former president had not left a will.
“Kindly register the estate. Thus far, we have not been able to locate a will, but have sent out inquiries to other law firms, although the family members are not aware of any.
“In this regard, perhaps the estate may be treated as intestate for now,” reads the letter.
As a result, the High court extended invitations to the Mugabe family members to an edict meeting Thursday to discuss the appointment of an executor.
There was also a legal dispute in 2014 over $5 million villa in Hong Kong which the government said it owned.
After ruling the Southern African country for 37 years, Mugabe resigned on November 21, 2017.
The Zimbabwe National Army instigated an overthrow of Mugabe’s regime by placing him under house arrest for the crimes committed by individuals in his circle.
He was given the ultimatum to either resign by November 20, 2017, or face impeachment. He subsequently chose the former. His retirement sparked nationwide jubilations as Zimbabweans celebrated the dawn of a new era. Mugabe’s vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who he fired on November 6, was sworn in as the new president.
Born in 1924 to a poor family in Kutama, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Robert Mugabe or “Uncle Bob”, as many Africans like to call him, started as a schoolteacher following successful completion of an undergraduate degree at the University of Fort Hare. He taught in several schools in the country and Ghana.
In the early 1960s, Mugabe got fed up with the white minority rule in Zimbabwe and so he embraced Marxist ideologies to push for an independent black-led state. For 10 years, starting from 1964 to 1974, Mugabe was detained for making anti-colonial statements.
Upon his release, the schoolteacher turned freedom fighter fled to neighboring Mozambique where he established a political party, Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), which led the Rhodesian Bush War in the late 1970s, fighting the British forces.
With Mugabe as its president, ZANU was later transformed into ZANU-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and spearheaded negotiations with the British administration for the independence of Zimbabwe. The negotiations led to the Lancaster House Agreement, which put an end to white minority rule in Zimbabwe in 1980.
A general election was held in April 1980, in which Mugabe’s ZANU-PF emerged victorious. As the head of the party, Mugabe automatically became the Prime Minister of the newly renamed Zimbabwe.