LEBANESE businessman Jamal Ahmed, who dragged First Lady Grace Mugabe to court after she allegedly invaded his three upmarket houses in Harare in a dispute over the purchase of a US$1,4 million diamond ring, says he will not set foot in Zimbabwe until the government respects the rule of law, the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.
This comes in the backdrop of the failure by the High Court, the Judiciary Service Commission (JSC) and the police to ensure that Ahmed’s properties, which were seized in December, are handed back to the businessman.
Lawyers representing Ahmed insist that Grace invaded their client’s private property and has been using “rogue elements in the Zimbabwe Republic Police” to shield herself over a US$1,35 million diamond ring scandal.
In an interview this week, Beatrice Mtetwa said her client cannot set foot in Zimbabwe until the government respects the rule of law.
“My client has raised issues to do with the respect of the rule of law in the country because since we took his issue to court there has not been any movement. High Court orders have been ignored and up to now the properties are still in the hands of the police; so my client says he fears for his life once he comes to Zimbabwe,” Mtetwa said.
Documents seen by this paper say that Grace placed an order for a US$1,4 million diamond ring in Dubai through Thatchfree Investments (Pvt) Ltd, a company owned by Ahmed.
The expensive ring was meant to be President Robert Mugabe’s wedding anniversary gift to his wife. Last August was their 20th anniversary.
Harare High Court judge Clement Phiri on December 21 ruled against Mugabe’s controversial wife after she forcefully took ownership of three properties belonging to the Lebanese businessman, and gave her 24 hours to pack her bags and allow Ahmed’s employees to return to the seized houses.
One of Ahmed’s employees, Talent Kasiya, deposed an affidavit at the High Court on January 3, claiming that two more houses belonging to his employer had again been seized.
Ahmed says despite the court order, the First Lady had taken ownership and control of two more houses belonging to him. He told the court recently that he now feared returning to Zimbabwe after being threatened with harm by Grace’s son Russell Goreraza, her son-in-law Simba Chikore and Kennedy Fero.