Zimbabwe’s former President Robert Mugabe is auctioning off five combine harvesters and other farm equipment to pay off his debts. According to an advert by a local auction firm, Ruby Auctions, Mugabe plans to sell off at least 40 of his vehicles, including a luxury car and five Toyota Hilux pick-up trucks.
“Duly instructed by our most valued client we shall sell by public auction vehicles and farm equipment at Gushungo Dairy Farm on Saturday,” Ruby Auctions said in a newspaper notice inviting bidders to the sale on the farm.
Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years before he was ousted in 2017after a military take over, owned several farms despite laws limiting individuals to one farm. Both he and his wife, Grace were accused of forcing off smallholders off the land to set up the Gushungo Dairy Estate in Mazowe outside Harare as the couple built up a lucrative farming business.
More than 4,000 of the country’s 4,500 white farmers were stripped of their land under Mugabe’s highly controversial land seizures and the former president justified the land grabs as a way to correct colonial-era land ownership disparities that had favoured whites as well as to stimulate economic growth for black Zimbabweans.
The sale is said to be a sign that the family business empire which includes 21 farms, could be in financial trouble.