THE construction of former President Robert Mugabe’s daughter, Bona Chikore’s sprawling property in the leafy suburb of Umwinsidale in Harare has reportedly stalled following the ousting of her father, with the Chinese developer reportedly deserting the project.
The property, which sits on a hilltop, is still in the initial stages of development.
Large tracts of land were sliced to make way for roads leading to the construction site and to form a picturesque landscape that would have made the property one of the most magnificent in the area.
The multi-million-dollar project, which was started in May, was moving at supersonic speed before Mugabe’s dramatic exit from office on November 21.
The property, where trespassing is strictly prohibited, is still under Zimbabwe Republic Police guard, although there is no security fence or precast wall on the other side.
Neighbours, who were in awe at the manner in which the hill was carved, were forthcoming with directions to the property.
They told NewsDay yesterday that the contractors and their equipment vanished when problems started mounting for the Mugabes.
“We would see them, Bona and her husband, now and again monitoring progress,” a neighbour, who declined to be named, said.
“They would pass through here and they were friendly to people.
“Usually, when they came, people would rush to catch a glimpse of them before they entered the gate and drove through the hill.”
A NewsDay crew was denied entry to the property at 153 Lunar Road and told to look for the Chinese contractor, who was said to be supervising the construction of another property elsewhere.
“People are saying a lot of things about this property and the best people to talk to are the clients or the contractor,” one of the workers said.
“In fact, you can look for the contractor, he is supervising construction of another house somewhere across the road.
“We are not allowed to talk to you.
“But it is not true that the contractor has vanished.
“The main contractor sub-contracted another Chinese national, who then moved away his earthmoving equipment at the beginning of the Mugabe crisis.
“He is not the main contractor and his departure doesn’t affect business here.
“After all, what is making the process stall is the fact that we are waiting for reinforcement equipment and once that is in place, you will start to see activity again.”
Mugabe and his family have been accused of abusing State resources for their personal gain.
Bona and her husband, Simba Chikore, could not be reached for comment yesterday. newsday