Bulawayo (Mlondolozi Ndlovu) – Dumiso Dabengwa’s ZAPU has called for the arrest of first lady Grace Mugabe for externalisation of money and fraud, noting that her involvement in the current 1.4 million ‘ring saga’ was not only criminal but out rightly heartless.
The first lady is currently implicated in a diamond ring saga, in which she claims to have been conned of nearly $1,4 million by Lebanese businessman, Jamal Ahmed, whom she accuses of joining hands with her political foes to soil her family’s image.
Observers have indicated that she wanted to externalise the money under the guise of buying the ring, but the deal back fired after the money had been deposited into a foreign account but Mrs Mugabe saying she had changed her mind.
But opposition ZAPU say the conduct by the first lady is criminal and exposes her extravagance when the rest of the nation is wallowing in poverty.
In a statement ZAPU spokesperson Iphuthile Maphosa, lashed out at the first lady, saying the ring saga showed that she was a ‘fraudster’ who is involved in externalisation of money.
“As the diamond ring saga continues, it is at this juncture that ZAPU exposes Grace Mugabe for what she really is, a fraudster and not a victim.
“It is important to note that Grace Mugabe does not deny buying the $1.4 million ring, or even engaging in a deal worth $1.4 million. What interests us is the criminal act of foreign currency externalization of such a huge amount on a purely personal luxurious item by a public figure in country grappling with economic and social problems,” said Maphosa.
The ZAPU spokesperson highlighted that the money for the ring could be enough for some of the countries ministries which are operating on shoe string budgets.
“Departments in ministries such as Social Services, Energy, Education and Health which are more deserving got allocations amounting to $1.4 million, with some getting less than that. This shows just how much $1.4 million is worth in a life of an ordinary Zimbabwean.
The party described the first lady as a liar who ought to be investigated for externalisation and fleecing poor citizens.
“We strongly believe Grace Mugabe is lying and making up the fraud case to cover her footprints in a criminal act of externalizing foreign currency. We totally agree with her that this was a case of fraud, but she is the perpetrator of the fraud and Zimbabwe’s poor citizens are the victims. We wonder just how long she has been in this game of hers, and we wonder how much foreign currency she has externalized using this method. A full investigation must be conducted and she must be arrested and tried for foreign currency externalization.