JOHANNESBURG – Security personnel at State House in Harare have thus far refused to receive a summons for first lady Grace Mugabe in a case brought against her at the Harare High Court in connection with an R18-million diamond ring she allegedly bought from Dubai last year.
Jamal Hamed, a Dubai diamond dealer, claims that Grace Mugabe paid him from her Zimbabwe account at the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe, CBZ, for a rough diamond which he polished and had set. He claims he then sent it to her but says she refused to accept delivery and allegedly demanded a full refund to her bank in Dubai.
Hamed says he tried to negotiate with her as costs were involved in polishing and setting the diamond and claimed any refund, by instalments, would have to be made to her Harare bank account because of foreign currency regulations.
He said that in October, three of his valuable properties in Harare were taken over by Stanley Goreraza, Mugabe’s eldest son from her first marriage, and her bodyguard, Kennedy Fero. In the process, Hamed said, his workers who lived on the properties became homeless, including a school child about to write examinations.
Hamed’s lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, sought an urgent application to force Mugabe, her son and and bodyguard to return the properties.
Another attempt was set to be made to serve summons for an urgent application in the High Court on Grace Mugabe at State House later Thursday.
Although President Robert Mugabe, 92 is immune from prosecution while in office, his wife Grace does not have that privilege.
Many Zimbabwe lawyers would not risk taking on Grace Mugabe, but the diamond ring case is the second time Mtetwa has gone head-to-head with the First lady.
Five years ago, four South African drivers were arrested in Harare after they delivered several commercial vehicles to Grace Mugabe in Harare.
The vehicles were bought by Mugabe for her son Russell Goreraza.
Mtetwa secured them bail. But the drivers, allegedly suspicious of Zimbabwe’s justice system, skipped bail and returned home to South Africa.