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Zimbabwe: I’m not in defiance of court order, President Mugabe’s wife says

Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe says she is not in defiance of a court order compelling her to return three properties that she seized from a Lebanese businessman in a botched $1.35m diamond ring deal.

Harare High Court judge Clement Phiri ordered Grace in December to return the properties within 24 hours and to ensure that employees of the Lebanese tycoon Jamal Ahmed returned to their work stations.

The controversial First Lady, who is currently in China accompanying her husband, President Robert Mugabe, who is on his month-long vacation, has not taken any steps since the order was made.

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The First Lady’s attorneys, Manase and Manase Legal Practitioners, told the local daily News Day newspaper that Mugabe’s wife was appealing against the court’s decision and therefore, she was not in contempt of court.

“The whole process was wrong as the First Lady was never served with papers and we are challenging that decision. It is wrong to say she has defied a court order because we have already indicated that we are appealing against the ruling to evict those people occupying those properties,” Grace’s lawyer Wellington Pasipanodya was quoted as saying.

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