Ex-First Lady Finds Hundreds of Gold Diggers on Her Farm
Grace Mugabe says the miners refused to leave
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2018 5:05 PM CDT
In this 2017 file photo, Zimbabwe's former first lady Grace Mugabe greets party supporters at a rally in Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe.   (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, File)

(Newser) – Wow, rough few months for Grace Mugabe. One day she's first lady of Zimbabwe, the next she's trying and failing to kick 400 illegal gold miners off her farm. The BBC reports Mugabe—whose husband was ousted from power in November—was "shocked to find approximately 400 men illegally panning for gold" while she toured her farm Thursday. Mugabe says she confronted the miners—who were digging shafts, tearing out lemon trees, and loading gold ore into trucks—but they "started to shout obscenities at me and continued with their unlawful activities." According to AFP, the miners were reportedly waving shovels and machetes at Mugabe.

Mugabe had forced villagers from their homes in the area in 2015, and one of the illegal miners is said to have yelled at her, "You no longer have any power to remove us." Mugabe says the miners' actions are "politically motivated," NewsDay reports. The miners allegedly claimed to be working for a Chinese outfit but wouldn't name it. Mugabe reported the illegal gold miners to police, but police weren't immediately able to verify her claims.

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