FORMER Zimbabwean ruler Robert Mugabe’s socialite stepson is facing eviction from a property over rental arrears dating back three years, court documents seen on Wednesday by AFP showed.
The property’s owners – the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council – have applied to the High Court to evict Russell Goreraza from a property in a posh Harare suburb of Highlands and recover nearly US$66 000 in back rent.
Goreraza, a businessman in his early thirties with a reputation for parties and luxury cars, is a son of Mugabe’s wife Grace from her first marriage.
“The claim is for the eviction of the defendant (Goreraza) and all those claiming occupation through him and payment of the sum of US$65 801 being arrear rentals payable between the parties,” the property owners said in papers filed by their lawyers Dube Manikai and Hwacha.
“In breach of terms of agreement, the defendant failed to pay rentals from March 2015 to March 2018.”
“Despite demands, the defendant failed to, refused or neglected to pay the arrear rentals,” said the organisation.
It was not immediately clear why the country’s family planning agency had acquired the house and why it had leased it out to the former president’s stepson.
Grace Mugabe, 52, became increasingly powerful after her appointment in 2014 as head of the women’s wing of the ruling Zanu-PF party and was seen as a possible successor to her husband in the event of his retirement or death.
She earned herself the sobriquet Gucci Grace for her lavish lifestyle.
Her other two sons became famous for partying in high-end bars in Harare and neighbouring South Africa.
Her husband ruled Zimbabwe from the country’s independence from Britain in 1980 until he was ousted in November 2017 following a brief military takeover.
He was replaced by his former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, a favourite of the military who had been fired weeks earlier following a sustained verbal attack by Mugabe’s wife.
Gorereza and his lawyers could not be immediately reached for comment.