Grace opens up on diamond ring saga

FIRST Lady Grace Mugabe has opened up on the latest scandal she has been implicated in, claiming, instead, she is the victim in the diamond ring saga and was conned of nearly $1,4 million by Lebanese businessman — Jamal Ahmed — whom she accused of joining hands with her political foes to soil her family’s image.

by XOLISANI NCUBE

In an affidavit filed by her lawyers Manase and Manase Legal Practitioners opposing a High Court order granted by Justice Clemence Phiri in December last year ordering Grace and her proxies to vacate Ahmed’s three Harare properties they had allegedly occupied, the First Lady said she did not invade anyone’s premises, instead, she was a victim of a person she described as an “international fraudster wanted by the international police”.

Grace chronicled how she met Ahmed’s daughter and wife in Dubai, although she said on their first meeting they had not discussed the diamond ring and instead only had tea.

“The truth is that in April 2016, I called Zeina, the first applicant’s wife, who lives in Dubai, I told her that I wanted a diamond and to have it set on a ring,” she said.

“Furthermore, I told her that this diamond was a gift from my husband [President Robert Mugabe] on our 20th marriage anniversary. She then said she would give her husband, the first applicant (Ahmed), my number. I told her that the diamond was required, as my husband was saving for me for this stone for our 20th anniversary in August 2016.”

Grace said Ahmed then called her while she was in Singapore and said he would instruct his daughter, who was in Belgium, to start looking for the stone, as they did not keep it in stock.

“On April 8, 2016, applicant’s wife, on his instructions, phoned me and told me she had sent pictures of different shapes of diamonds for my choices,” she continued, adding the stones also had Gemology Institute of America certificates, which define colour, cut, clarity and carat weight of the gemstones.

Grace said she was then given the price for a 10,07-carat gemstone, which she had selected, but later believed the cost had been inflated.

The First Lady said Ahmed promised to deliver the ring before August 17, 2016, her wedding anniversary.

On May 2, Grace said she travelled again to Dubai, where again she met Zeina, but they did not discuss the ring although money was transferred from her CBZ Bank account to Ahmed’s held with the same bank on May 11, but she still did not have sight of the ring.

“Despite demand to view the stone, first applicant was adamant [not] to show me the stone I had ordered, saying the seller would only do that [show the ring] after receiving full payment,” she continued.

“Various communication on texts and on WhatsApp messaging will show how endlessly first applicant failed to show me the stone I purchased. Up to this day, I have not been shown the stone I purchased from him.”

Grace said in June 2016, Ahmed went quiet for a long time and Mugabe kept asking whether the ring would be ready in time for their anniversary.

She said they only managed to get in touch with Ahmed on July 26 and they asked why he had been quiet, but his response is not chronicled in Grace’s papers.

Two days later, Ahmed, Grace said, said he would deliver the ring, but on August 2, it still had not been delivered.

“So I called him and told him and of the anniversary date, August 17, which was fast approaching. He prevaricated and gave no definitive answer. I smelt a rat,” she said.

“On August 3, I called him back and asked him to send the money back into my account. I insisted the money be paid back into my CBZ account. My bankers were also, on the other hand, asking for the money back after I told them of my plight.

“All the information is contained in conversation via WhatsApp. My bankers have also threads of communication via text and WhatsApp, insisting the money be brought back to Zimbabwe.”

Grace said she did not ask for the money to be paid outside Zimbabwe, claiming she did not have a bank account outside the country.

“I have never thought of externalising money, neither can I do so, as any account I open will be pounced upon, as we are on sanctions with my husband. We lead by example,” she said.

“I never asked that I be paid in Dubai. It’s a lie and I don’t have an account thereat. I don’t externalise funds.
That’s illegal. I do not partake in such illegal activities.”

Grace said, when asked for the refund, Ahmed would claim he sent the money out of Zimbabwe clandestinely and it would take long for it to be repatriated.

“I realised, possibly, I had been duped. I threatened legal action as well. The fact that the police were investigating the same person was a coincidence,” she said.

“Possibly first applicant thought since he had defrauded me, it would be myself, who ordered the guarding of his houses. He was wrong.”

Grace said she had since learnt that Ahmed’s modus operandi was to hit well-placed citizens, hoping they would keep quiet and he gets away with it.

“This was hard-earned money saved over the years for this 20th anniversary. I cannot keep quiet,” she said.

“It’s a lot of sacrifice that my husband did from [our] farming and dairy business.”

Grace said there were no side expenses, just a balloon payment and she had Ahmed’s WhatsApp messages promising he would pay the money back.

“The true position is the first applicant spent the money,” she said. “He now wanted soft terms to refund the money. So long as my money is paid, whether in full or agreed instalments and with collateral, as we now have found he has properties in Zimbabwe through the police action.

“If he were honest, he should have simply refunded the money rather than demonise me and my family (sic).”

Grace said Ahmed had already paid back $120 000 to her CBZ account.

The First Lady denied grabbing Ahmed’s properties and that she used her status to force her way.

Ahmed dragged Grace to court after she allegedly grabbed his three properties demanding a full refund for the ring.

In approaching the court, Ahmed was also seeking protection from Grace’s son, Russell Goreraza, son-in-law and Kennedy Fero, who, according to court papers, is part of the First Lady’s security personnel.

In his papers through lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, Ahmed had alleged that he was afraid to come to Zimbabwe as he was being threatened.

37 Responses to Grace opens up on diamond ring saga

  1. francis dread January 11, 2017 at 7:10 am #

    That may be so but $1.4m for a ring when millions of Zimbabweans are struggling to make ends meet.

    • Carlos January 11, 2017 at 7:48 am #

      If the first family keeps rough diamonds then you have your answer on where zim diamonds went.

  2. sambiri January 11, 2017 at 8:11 am #

    thought anything worth 500us will be nice

  3. Chen Chikezha January 11, 2017 at 8:19 am #

    Very interesting “leading by example”, buying a US$1,4 million when people are starving, when civil servants are getting paid on the 38th of the month and there is no paracetamol/panadol in hospitals. Really Dr Amai

  4. Chen Chikezha January 11, 2017 at 8:21 am #

    Very interesting “leading by example”, buying a US$1,4 million ring when people are starving, when civil servants are getting paid on the 38th of the month and there is no paracetamol/panadol in hospitals. Really Dr Amai leading by example??????????????

  5. James Kufirapo January 11, 2017 at 8:37 am #

    surely leading by example amai. a ring worth $1.4m yet after 10 years of service in gvt , all i got as severance pay was a meagre $22 000.00

  6. GushungowekuGP January 11, 2017 at 8:42 am #

    Ahmed itsotsi ngaadzore mari yenyika yedu otherwise taking the property is fair. As fo Grace nemari yakaba tichazodealer naye at an appropriate time, ngezve mumusha mwedu.

  7. GushungowekuGP January 11, 2017 at 8:42 am #

    Ahmed itsotsi ngaadzore mari yenyika yedu otherwise taking the properties is fair. As fo Grace nemari yakaba tichazodealer naye at an appropriate time, ngezve mumusha mwedu.

  8. GushungowekuGP January 11, 2017 at 8:42 am #

    Ahmed itsotsi ngaadzore mari yenyika yedu otherwise taking the properties is fair. As for Grace nemari yakaba tichazodealer naye at an appropriate time, ngezve mumusha mwedu.

    • pragg January 11, 2017 at 9:23 am #

      TAURA HAKO WENA MATERRORIST AYA AKUDA KUTIJAIRIRA WE CAN NOT DESTORY OUR INTENAL ENEMY FIRST RATHER WE START WITH EXTERNAL THE INTERNAL ON THE OTHER DAY
      MARI YAGRACE IMARI YEDU NGAIDZOKE KUMUSHA ZVEKUTI WAT WAT IZVO NDEZVEDU HATINGATIZE MUSHA NEKUTI MAI VABATWA NECHIKOMBA

      NGAVATENGESE PROPERTY YAKE PERIOD

    • Concerned January 11, 2017 at 3:58 pm #

      We must be wise dealing with these Ahmed, Mohmed, Mahomad etc they do this in every deal even with the Government. He is saying akatobudisa mari yacho muNyika, he is right, do you know these guys were even buying US100 & US50 to ensure they had relatively small bags to smuggle out!

  9. Enock January 11, 2017 at 9:03 am #

    I think this woman-Grace she is quite stupid nothing exonerates her from the whole story so if they can buy a ring for 1.4 million what else do they buy in millions. Shame on you pathetic worthless woman…and shame on you mugabe RG.

  10. Beauty Moyo January 11, 2017 at 9:05 am #

    Showing off that you spend taxpayers money on a diamond ring. What type of a mother are you. Why dont you feel pity for the suffering Zimbabweans. No one in this country likes you except your children. Everyone talks bad about you. Everyone is cursing you everyday. YOu are under spotlight. CHENJERA MAGUMO AKO

  11. Tasha Ruponeso January 11, 2017 at 9:08 am #

    You want to twist nyaya. How can you go to someone’s house to drink tea. LIES. Ndiwe tsotsi. We wont listen to your foolish lies grace

  12. Mwalimu January 11, 2017 at 9:11 am #

    Business of such magnitude conducted over Whatsapp and text messages! CBZ transfers the amount and yet when funds are transferred from other citizens they require copies of contracts. Where is the contract of supply? From the look of it there was none, only VIP privilege was used.

  13. Matangakunwa January 11, 2017 at 9:17 am #

    Ring yacho yaive yekuitisei, what a heartless first familyd

  14. gunguwo January 11, 2017 at 9:32 am #

    Some people are really living high life in Zimbabwe. Never mind the suffering majority. Leaders of Africa!

  15. $ January 11, 2017 at 10:10 am #

    munhu anokohwa zvaadzvara, bhaibheri riri pachena wani. iye Grace mawaniro aakaita 1.4 million ndomaendero ainofanirwa kuita. Zimbabwe ikutambura iye akuita zvema ring. ngairove mari iyoyo, ngavasiye property yemunhu.

    Hakuna First Family ingaita zvakadai ne nhamo irimuno mu Zim.

  16. Wezhira wezhara January 11, 2017 at 10:12 am #

    These are merely lies and a sign of JonathanMoyoism in you Grace. Why do you put political foes in your deals? Are they the ones who ordered a US$1,4 million diamond ring for you? By your own admission you say you were aware the price had been inflated but still transferred the money? This was part of your share from that 6million taken from the Ghananians by someone who was later pardoned by your husband. You knew that there is still a healthy balance from the 15 billion hence no worry. Do you stay in hotels on those visits to Singapore or you own a house or houses? How did you pay for them and where did you get the money from? G40 thieeeeeeeves. Was surprised this morning kunzwa mboko achitaura nezve corruption iye ari corrupt. Kurova mapurisa kuAvondale Police muchibudisa mbavha dzeZinara Nxaaaaa

  17. mwinde January 11, 2017 at 10:35 am #

    Amai do u have any idea how frivolous you sound? What responsible leader purchases a nonentity such as a ring for whatever reason in the midst of a biting economic crisis like this when whole families are going to bed hungry, livelihoods are being lost on a daily basis and now we have the outbreak of medieval diseases? Idi zveshuwa ndimi vakadzi vasingavaki asi vanowuya kuzoparadza!!

  18. Vusumuzi wako Mange January 11, 2017 at 10:44 am #

    We need more Ahmeds to dupe our politicians, so more beans can be spilt. Legendary Bob Marley sang in one of his songs in his album ‘Uprising’: “…and what has been hidden from the wise and the prudent, has been revealed to the babe and the suckling…”. Eventually the immoral rot of the elders whom we deem wise will be revealed to all and sundry, and then we will know that we just did not deserve to have savages to lead us.

  19. Willard Tramposo January 11, 2017 at 10:45 am #

    What Grace is saying is, that 1 million is her money after years of farming and running a dairy company.
    She is an innocent lady and she is hard working and also does a good job of looking after the nonagenarian. How many ladies in Zim are willing to be married to a man 40 or so years older? No one.

    • Iphie-al-Harami January 11, 2017 at 6:08 pm #

      Wakapusa

  20. Willard Tramposo January 11, 2017 at 10:48 am #

    Grace is innocent.

    • titi January 11, 2017 at 7:06 pm #

      Mh*t* yako mwana wegoya

  21. ngoma January 11, 2017 at 11:39 am #

    we zimbabweans takadyiswa ne zanu,honestly speakin u dnt nid a microscope 2 c tht these guys did nt hate the smith regime bt envied them,they hve colonised us physically n mentally.i dnt c much of a difference btn mugabe n ian smith with smith bein beta cz zimbabwe functioned properly,Grace is js showin us money is nt a problm 4 them cz her sugar dady hs enuf 4rm our hard earned money,shame on u

  22. Takaz January 11, 2017 at 11:44 am #

    Why is this woman peddling lies when everyone else knows these are tax payers monies. Akuna mafarming activities arikumbotaurwa apa. Ko iko kuzozvichenura kwahi I dont externalise monies and i dont have accounts outside Zim otherwise inotorwa as we are under sanctions yet u still go to Dubai?? Had it been an american account better. Uritsotsi iwe musikana. Zvichapera chete

  23. Wezhira wezhara January 11, 2017 at 12:11 pm #

    MaProducts eGushungo Diary taka boycotter kare. Unonyepa Imari yedu 15 billion yema diamonds awaitumira Chivhayo kunotengesa kuDubai. Ndosaka Chivhayo ayi udza Simon Mann kuti ndinozivikanwa paAirport handisechwi.

  24. Chisaga January 11, 2017 at 12:27 pm #

    What is the truth here? was the ring worth 1.3 million or 1.4 million? Whatever the price, hw can a 93 year old man buy a ring to put it on another man’s wife. Mudzimu wa Goreraza wamuka,

  25. ISO Patriot January 11, 2017 at 12:51 pm #

    Grace is lying. She knew all along the kind of person she was dealing with. If the guy was wanted by interpol as she claimed, why do business with such a person in the first place? And when she had realised she had been duped, why didn’t she report the matter to interpol or to the ZRP or ecen to the claims court so that Ahmed’s properties can be lawfully attached to recover the money? I just don’t understand why some of you here see Grace as justified in her actions.

  26. matiya January 11, 2017 at 3:18 pm #

    Asi amai vaiti $1,4m ma bearer here. vakadaro I can understand her case. Normally you cant fork hard earned US$1.4 jus for a ring. Surprising to me is the fact that Amai was the first to talk about the ring and claims its a present from her husband. she just wanted to buy herself a ring. so shamefull

  27. sharp January 11, 2017 at 4:14 pm #

    Sanctioned or leading by example? You want me to buy local products and yet you lead by example on millions wired to overseas banks?

  28. MK January 11, 2017 at 4:34 pm #

    Birds of a feather flock together that is why she beat the photographer in Hong Kong or somewhere because she was caught red handed

  29. A January 11, 2017 at 4:38 pm #

    If this lebanese has nothing to hide he should open up to AlJazeera
    The children are being educated outside what sort of example is this to the ordinary people
    The oldman and herself get treatment outside and the grandson was born in Singpore – What example is this to the ordinary folk
    not a single person is coming out about Gaddafis property that he bought in Zimbabwe it must go to the Libyan people as the money was stolen from libyan coffers to purchase it as the story goes

  30. elder toughie January 11, 2017 at 4:49 pm #

    Guys 20th annivessary yangu ikutosvikawo soon want to make a plan but maybe 140 us

  31. jzc January 11, 2017 at 7:31 pm #

    They tell us what they lose,they want to makesure they total destroy Zimbabwe. No funds in country, but someone is talking about USD $1.4m.

  32. Okech January 12, 2017 at 12:32 pm #

    This is the second case of the duping of the first family that has appeared in the media. Remember the 50 million Rand house in Singapore that they also lost to another Arab and wanted the government to intervene?So CBZ has been externalising money?

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