Govt Sold Tsvangirai's House To Widow Elizabeth Macheka
The Zimbabwean government has reportedly sold the late former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Highlands house to his widow, Elizabeth Macheka after it had previously appeared to be willing to let the family have the house for free as part of his pension.
Although the government had originally wanted US$1.8 million for the house, it is understood that Tsvangirai’s widow negotiated and paid about US$1.5 million.
The house was initially bought by the government and allocated to Tsvangirai after he had boycotted the government in 2009 arguing that the house was not suitable for a Prime Minister. The issue caused controversy, with accusations that the late opposition leader had double-dipped during the process.
Mnangagwa and his deputy Constantino Chiwenga visited Tsvangirai at the house in January 2018 – a month before he died – and subsequently the government assured his family it would not be evicted. At the time Mnangagwa’s spokesman George Charamba said:
Was he not a prime minister, why would he be evicted? And he retired under a constitution that recognised his office.
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Following Mnangagwa’s visit to Tsvangirai’s official residence, the late former Prime Minister left for South Africa for medical check-ups, with part of his medical bills paid for by the government. Unfortunately, he passed away on 14 February 2018 in Johannesburg due to colon cancer.
According to reports by The News Hawks, two weeks after his death, Mnangagwa wrote to Tsvangirai’s widow, technically taking control of the house and offering to sell it to her.
Elizabeth Tsvangirai clarified that she bought the property after her husband’s death as it belonged to the state until that time, and they were government tenants. She confirmed that they were offered to buy the house at market value, which they did exercise as per their right of first refusal.