Robert Mugabe ‘left $10m in bank, 10 cars, four houses… but no will’

MIchael Howie
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, who has been captured by the army in Zimbabwe: AFP

Robert Mugabe left $10 million (£7.7 million) in the bank, four houses in the capital Harare and 10 cars, a list of his estate revealed today.

Details of the independence leader-turned-tyrant’s wealth were reported in the state-owned Herald newspaper, which said no will naming beneficiaries had been discovered.

Mr Mugabe died in September aged 95. He was ousted as president in 2017 after 37 years in power.

His daughter Bona Chikowore wrote to the high court in October seeking to register her father’s estate, which included $10 million in a local bank, four houses, 10 cars, one farm, his rural home and an orchard, the Herald reported.

One of the properties is Blue Roof, the palatial home in Harare where Mr Mugabe lived. The list does not include several farms he reportedly owned or a dairy business he ran with wife Grace, or any properties outside Zimbabwe.

The Herald said Mr Mugabe’s lawyer Terrence Hussein had also asked the court to register the estate, saying he and the family had not found a will. In Zimbabwe, the estate of a person who dies without a will is distributed between their spouse and children.

“Thus far, we have not been able to locate a will, but have sent out enquiries to other law firms, although the family members are not aware of any,” Mr Hussein wrote in a letter to the high court that was quoted by the Herald.

Robert Mugabe with widow Grace (AFP/Getty Images)

A diplomatic cable from the US embassy in Harare in 2001 that was published by Wikileaks said Mr Mugabe was rumoured to have more than $1billion of assets in Zimbabwe and overseas.

Social media posts show his sons Robert Jr and Bellarmine Chatunga with bottles of expensive champagne at a Johannesburg nightclub and Grace’s shopping sprees are well known.

A legal dispute in 2014 over a $5 million villa in Hong Kong suggested the family had been buying overseas property. The government said it owned the house.

Mr Mugabe’s successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa, hinted last week that his family owned a number of farms in Zimbabwe and that the government would leave them with just one, in line with rules limiting farm ownership.