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Harare — A farm in Mazowe that belongs to former first lady Grace Mugabe has been invaded by illegal gold miners estimated to number about 400 which are conducting gold panning activities on the property. The Smithfield farm invasion poses a threat to the Mugabe’s farming activities in the Mazowe area, which is the heart of their business empire. It is also a marked turn of fortunes for the once powerful couple that rubber-stamped and oversaw the often violent seizure of white-owned farms in 2000 in the country. About 4 500 white commercial farmers were estimated to have been forcibly removed from their farms during the war veterans led seizures of 2000. Zimbabwe’s agricultural output plummeted as a result of the farm invasions. In Mazowe, Mugabe owns Manzou farm and runs an orphanage and a school, the Amai Mugabe School. She reportedly also tried to seize a dam last year in the area, with villagers from the area denied access to the dam by police that guarded her properties. At the...

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