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The kids suffer the most at such times, plucked harshly as they are from the ample bosom of their cosseted upbringing and suddenly forced to fend for themselves in a callous and uncaring world.

It must be especially difficult for the youngest one, Bellarmine Chatunga Mugabe.

Only recently this 20-year-old scamp posted a video of himself on Instagram pouring Champagne over his garish wristwatch at some loud and upmarket Johannesburg night club with the caption: “$60 000 on the wrist when your daddy run the whole country ya know!!!”

And no ordinary fizz either but Armand de Brignac. There are a few online retailers offering the stuff at about R4 400 a pop, but it’s maybe double that in the nightclubs.
Mugabe Kids Won’t Be Washing Their Watches With Champagne Anymore
And, alas, no longer for young Bellarmine either. How sobering it must be to realise that the next time he wants to wash his watch in wine he’ll have to make do with a local chenin or a boxed blend.

As an aside, we don’t approve of such profligacy with the lady petrol and such disruptive behaviour at the Mahogany Ridge will result in swift ejection from the premises, most likely in an airborne manner best described as head-first and horizontal.

The regulars are not, however, a heartless bunch and we do note how Bellarmine and his older brother Bob Junior touchingly defended their aged father on social media by posting a BBC video from 1980 in which Robert Mugabe, who’d just been elected prime minister, insisted he would not be entertaining any coups d’état in Zimbabwe.

Which is rather droll when you consider that the Zimbo defence force has insisted it won’t be entertaining any coups there either and military leaders continue to insist the lockdown of Harare is, in fact, merely an operation to round up criminals in the government causing social and economic suffering and to stop counter-revolutionaries from taking over the country. And, naturally, Mugabe has been placed under house arrest to ensure his safety and security.

“Significant progress has been made in our operation,” the military said in a statement yesterday. “We have accounted for some of the criminals while others are still at large.”

Most commentators are not impressed with this explanation and have described this week’s events as a bloodless coup. Which may well be the case, but it is the notion of a coup-less coup that intrigues and this could explain what appears to be bewildered amusement on Mugabe’s part.

It’s either that or the senility.

Authorities in Harare released a photograph of Mugabe standing alongside military chief General Constantino Chiwenga ahead of “make-or-break” talks at State House on Thursday evening.

In this informal snap, Chiwenga smiles like a man in the pound seats, the guy holding all the aces. He no doubt found it amusing that Jacob Zuma, in his role as chair of the Southern African Development Community, had sent two special envoys to Harare, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and State Security Minister Bongani Bongo, to somehow play a mediating role in this mischief.

This mission from a man who needs a bully of bodyguards wherever he travels in his own country? Little wonder that, in that photograph, Mugabe appears to be in great hysterics. That, and the fact that, as previously stated, he could well be off his rocker. Is it possible he has no idea what’s happening? His mouth is open, as if in mid-cackle. “What’s going on?” he seems to be saying. “Is it my birthday? Again?”

First reports of the talks that followed suggest the military have a serious jones for Grace Mugabe and want the First Shopper dragged into court and tried for usurping executive authority from her husband.

Meanwhile, it appears most ordinary Zimbabweans want Mugabe gone. But there is uncertainty about the future - particularly as it is one that will no doubt feature Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose dismissal as vice-president last week sparked this whole mess.

Mnangagwa is a particularly nasty piece of work, the apparent mastermind behind the massacres in Matabeleland in the mid-1980s. He’ll be wanting a word or two with Grace about why she allegedly tried to poison him.

No wonder, then, there’s been no word from her. She’d be advised to keep low for a while. A long while. Independent Online

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is refusing to eat in protest against his confinement, one of his close family members has told MailOnline.

The frail 93-year-old has not accepted any food since Saturday, the source revealed, as he continues to be held under house arrest at his Blue Roof mansion.

Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao said on Saturday that Mr Mugabe was ‘willing to die for what is correct’.

A Zanu-PF minister confirmed to MailOnline that Mr Mugabe is also refusing to speak as part of his days-long protest.

‘The old man has been trying a lot of various tricks since last night,’ the minister, who asked not to be named, said. ‘Hunger strikes, making threats and refusing to talk.’

Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party held a special meeting on its central committee on Sunday to remove Mugabe as its leader and kick him out, Chris Mutsvangwa, the head of the powerful liberation war veterans said.
Robert Mugabe Goes Suicidal - Refusing To Eat For The Lust Of Power
Also on Sunday, Mugabe is set to discuss his expected exit with army commander Constantino Chiwenga, who put him under the house arrest that he is protesting with a hunger strike.

Mutsvangwa, who has led the campaign to oust Zimbabwe’s ruler of the last 37 years, said Zanu-PF’s meeting would also reinstate ousted vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa and remove Mugabe’s wife, Grace, as head of the Zanu-PF Women’s League.

‘We are going all the way,’ Mutsvangwa said as he headed into the meeting, adding that Mugabe should just resign and leave the country. ‘He’s trying to bargain for a dignified exit but he should just smell the coffee and gap it.’

Zanu-PF Central Committee members stood and cheered as the official chairing the emergency meeting announced plans to remove Mugabe from his leadership post on Sunday.

Obert Mpofu told the committee that they were meeting with ‘a heavy heart’ because Mugabe had served the country and contributed ‘many memorable achievements’.

But Mpofu said in his opening remarks that Mugabe’s wife ‘and close associates have taken advantage of his frail condition’ to loot national resources. The party will also discuss reinstating recently fired Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The army threatened to let a mob lynch the dictator if he didn’t stand down, MailOnline revealed on Saturday. Now Mugabe has responded by rejecting all food.

‘If he dies under military custody, even by natural causes, then the army will be held responsible by the international community,’ the family member, who asked not to be named, said. ‘That is how the president is trying to put pressure on the army.’

The family member also said that Grace Mugabe was by her husband’s side at the Blue Roof mansion yesterday, and is thought to still be there today.

It comes as the Zanu-PF central committee met at the party HQ in central Harare to begin the formal process for expelling Mr Mugabe from his own party.

The meeting follows rumours that the dictator had fled the country after hundreds of thousands took to the streets to protest against his rule.

Video footage from protests obtained exclusively by MailOnline showed angry crowds tearing down a huge billboard of Mugabe outside the headquarters of the ruling Zanu-PF party in central Harare.

The footage shows dramatic scenes that would have been unthinkable just a few days ago.

While Mugabe could be removed as party leader, his title as president of Zimbabwe would still remain. He can only be removed from his presidency through resignation or impeachment, launched through a constitutional process.

‘What is left is just the technical detail of how he’s going to leave,’ former Zimbabwean finance minister Tendai Biti told Sky News. ‘Even if Zanu-PF does remove him – if they do have the power, which i doubt – that doesn’t amount to removing him as president of the country.

‘There has to be formal processes – either his own resignation or an impeachment.’

The talks with army commander Constantino Chiwenga are the second round of negotiations on an exit with a veneer of dignity as the military tries to avoid accusations of a coup.

Senior figures in Zanu-PF gathered at their headquarters in the capital, Harare, on Sunday ahead of an emergency meeting to discuss calls to expel longtime President Robert Mugabe as party leader.

Soldiers checked vehicles at the gate and a military vehicle parked inside the grounds as leaders converged in the area. The military has Mugabe under house arrest after moving in last week, angered by Mugabe’s firing of his longtime deputy.

Impeaching the president is another step when Parliament resumes Tuesday, and lawmakers will “definitely” put the process in motion, the main opposition’s parliamentary chief whip told The Associated Press.

Zanu-PF moved forward with the process of formally expelling Mr Mugabe from the party after all ten of Zimbabwe’s provinces passed no-confidence motions against him on Friday.

Innocent Gonese with the MDC-T party said they had been in discussions with the ruling ZANU-PF party to act jointly.

Gonese said of the talks: ‘If Mugabe is not gone by Tuesday, then as sure as the sun rises from the east, impeachment process will kick in.’

The MDC-T has unsuccessfully tried to impeach Mugabe in the past, but now the ruling party has turned against him.

The youth league of Zanu-PF called for Mugabe to resign and take a rest as an ‘elder statesman’, while his wife, Grace, should be expelled from the party ‘forever.’

Youth league leader Yeukai Simbanegavi praises the military for moving against what she describes as a group of ‘criminals’ led by Grace Mugabe.

‘It is unfortunate that the president allowed her to usurp executive authority from him, thereby destroying both the party and the government,’ Simbanegavi said at ruling party headquarters on Sunday.

She said the youth league also wants the reinstatement of Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former vice president whose firing by Mugabe followed harsh criticism by Zimbabwe’s first lady.

The army has also brought intense pressure to bear upon the 93-year-old, threatening to stand aside and allow him to be lynched if he does not stand down soon, a senior politician told MailOnline.

Mutsvangwa that that he is concerned that the military could end up opening fire to protect Mugabe from protesters. He says there will be more demonstrations like the massive one Saturday if Mugabe’s negotiations with the military on his departure from power don’t end soon.

Money and indemnity from prosecution are the main items on the negotiation agenda between Robert Mugabe and the generals who want him to quit office before parliamentarians have to begin a process to expel him from the presidency on Tuesday.

Robert Mugabe is a wealthy man. No one is sure how wealthy as so many of his deals have been below the surface and undeclared.

But he needs a great deal of cash to support his wife’s extraordinary spending. She, so far, has failed to make profit from her ventures, except recently when she unlocked a mining deal for contacts in Kazakstan.

Grace Mugabe is the wealthiest woman in Zimbabwe. Perhaps among the richest women in sub Saharan Africa.

But her wealth sits uncomfortably on her shoulders, as she can’t prove she owns much of her vast property empire which is the largest slice of her known assets.

No one is sure how much money the Mugabe family has stored outside Zimbabwe, but details about Grace Mugabe’s collection of formerly white-owned farms is astonishing.

The Mugabes are the ‘owners’ or occupiers of more valuable land in Zimbabwe then any other person or family in Rhodesia or Zimbabwe.

They have even outdone former Lonrho boss, Tiny Rowland, whose Rhodesian/Zimbabwe assets were bought by British millionaire and murderer, Nicholas van Hoogstraten. Mr van Hoogstraten’s three vast ranches were taken over during the post 2000 land invasions.
How Wealthy Are The Mugabes?
She and her husband seized tens of thousands of acres of some of the most valuable land in Africa.

With the exception of one farm which Mugabe bought cheaply in 2000, they took about 20 developed farms in reliable rainfall areas from white and a couple of black farmers as well as land which belonged to a citrus company.

It was Grace Mugabe who stepped out and took the first farm for the Mugabe family. She chased off an old Zimbabwe couple, Eva and John Matthews from a wonderful hill-top property, Iron Mask Estate, in the glorious well tree’d hilly Mazowe Valley district, a half hour drive west of the Harare city centre.

She went on and on taking ever more bits of land contiguous to that first seizure. She took one farm from a black High Court judge who had himself swiped the farm, and she took another from a black man, who was then the chief executive of Standard Chartered Bank.

She spent millions of pounds building on land she took - schools for the elite, for example - from which she hoped to earn - offices, a new luxury house on top of one of the hills she claims she owns, dams, a modern dairy.

She also ran up a huge overdraft of more then £20 million at Zimbabwe’s largest commercial bank in the process.

Mrs Mugabe has a massive problem with the farm land on which she has spent so much. Nearly all of it is owned by the government of Zimbabwe.

In 2005, Mr Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF party cancelled all title deeds of seized white-owned farms and changed the constitution to ensure that all land taken from them became state owned.

Not only that, but the government’s Agricultural Rural Development Authority, ARDA, paid workers and ran some of the farms for the Mugabe’s prior to the establishment of a government of national unity in 2009.

Mrs Mugabe had previously arranged for payment from ARDA to a white farmer for the dairy she claims she now owns. ARDA only paid the farmer half the agreed amount for Foyle Farm, Zimbabwe’s top dairy.

After she took possession of the dairy, and renamed it Gushungo - her husband’s clan name - it largely collapsed. Some of the cows she had bought produced milk infected with pus as she did not know how to prevent them developing mastitis.

But she learned and added all sorts of unnecessary expensive European equipment to the dairy, and still couldn’t make money out of it.It now largely produces yoghurt and ice cream.

But she still owes cash to the family of the white farmer who was not paid for the dairy farm as she had agreed, and the farm’s title deeds disappeared from a foreign-owned bank in Harare about a year before the former dairy man, Ian Ferguson, died in Australia.

So Mrs Mugabe owes Zimbabwe’s taxpayers a small fortune on that farm alone. She took more then £1m from the central bank in 2007 to buy commercial vehicles for her oldest son Russell Goreraza, from her first marriage.

She bought 125 acres from a white family last year atop a hill in the Helensvale suburb of Harare for about £3m. She will have the title deeds for this property. It is not clear where she found the cash to buy it and the tax man may want to know.

Earlier this year she bought a mansion in Sandhurst, Johannesburg’s wealthiest suburbs. Again, it is not clear where approximately £3m came from to pay for that property for her two sons, who spend tens of thousands of dollars on their life style in South Africa. They are both in Harare at present.

Mr Mugabe owns the massive property on which he lives. It is the biggest house in Zimbabwe. He and the Zanu PF party bought the land for him shortly after 1980 independence.

After he married Grace, she pushed for them to move out of State House - home to many governor-generals, including Christopher Soames, during the pre-1980 elections.

She wanted something bigger, better.

Mr Mugabe cannot account for the £10 m he spent building the 10 000 square metre mansion on three floors which is maintained and staffed by the state. It is known as the ‘blue roof’ because of the colour of roofing which is turquoise/blue Chinese tiles, from Shanghai, Mr Mugabe told journalists after the Telegraph exposed the cost of the mansion in 2002.

He also owns a modest house in the Mount Pleasant suburb, which is occupied by his eldest child, Bona and her husband who was previously boss of bankrupt Air Zimbabwe.

Mr Mugabe’s state pension, when he leaves office, would be the same as his present salary of about $60 000 per year as well as security, health care and some basic staff and a new vehicle. But he refuses to travel on commercial aircraft and takes over Air Zimbabwe’s only international plane, a Boeing 767, to see doctors in Singapore several times a year.

His home, with its own helipad, acres of landscaped gardens, and wildlife, takes scores of workers to keep. And Mrs Mugabe’s dairy has many workers, so does her school and other properties and farms.

Mr Mugabe admits, quite regularly, that his farming endeavours are not yet successful. He is not making a profit. His wife blew more then £1m on a diamond ring she bought from a dubious gem trader in Dubai last year. She wants her money back and to be returned to her bank account in Dubai.

Grace Mugabe has long been accused of being a sleeping partner - with her husband - in a diamond company, Mbada Diamonds, which mined and exported millions of pounds of rough stones mainly to Dubai.

EU geologists assigned to Zimbabwe via the Kimberley Process estimated the total sales of diamonds mostly into Dubai, from several mining companies, including Mbada Diamonds, operating in eastern Zimbabwe, may have been about $5 billion. How Wealthy Are The Mugabes?

President Robert Mugabe may not have announced his resignation because according to the Constitution of Zimbabwe, he can only do so by written notice to the speaker of parliament who makes it public. In other words, he cannot announce his own resignation.

Section 96(1) of the Constitution on the Resignation of President or Vice-President reads:
The President may resign his or her office by written notice to the Speaker, who must give public notice of the resignation as soon as it is possible to do so and in any event within twenty-four hours.
The Probable Reasons Why Mugabe Did Not Announce He Is Resigning
However this is not a given that he will resign. It also remains to be seen if Zanu-PF will go ahead with its threat to impeach President Mugabe after Zanu-PF Central Committee gave him a deadline of 12 Noon on Monday to step down or face impeachment on Tuesday.

At the Central Committee meeting, Zanu PF chief whip Lovemore Matuke was ordered to “institute proceedings for the removal of Mugabe in terms of Section 97 of the constitution of Zimbabwe” if he continues clinging on to power. As Zanu-PF on its own, already has more than two-thirds of the legislators in parliament, the threat is very potent and can be acted on.

There are also reports that that MDC-T Mabvuku-Tafara MP James Maridadi had notified the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda of his intention to move a motion to impeach Mugabe. The sources said that Mudenda was given the notice of the motion on Wednesday last week. – Pindula.