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Robert Mugabe President of Zimbabwe Mugabe's £5 million Luxury Mansion, 25-bedroom Palace

Robert Mugabe President Of Zimbabwe since 1980

Construction has been completed of Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe’s controversial £5 million mansion in Harare’s leafy northern suburbs.

The 25-bedroom private house, built by a Serbian construction company Energoproject to a Chinese architectural design, has two lakes in its 44 acre landscaped grounds and is protected by a multi-million pounds radar system.

Approach roads to the mansion, topped by a Chinese-style roof clad in midnight blue tiles from Shanghai, are off limits to the general public.
It is understood that some 50 police riot response officers guard the Mugabe palace on a 24- hour basis in cooperation with the much-feared Central Intelligence Organisation, CIO.

Sources in the President’s office told reporters that chemical and biological sensors are strategically positioned on all approaches to the mansion, around 30 kilometres north of the centre of Harare.

                                     Robert Mugabe Rolls Royce

“The sensors are supplemented with radiological detection equipment, including radiation pagers on the belts of some of the law enforcement officers,” the presidential source said. “CAAZ (the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe) is policing the area above the house [by helicopter and spotter plane] to ensure that it is a no-fly zone. In addition, the CIO is providing dogs that can sniff out explosives.”

  Robert Mugabe Mugabe's own Mercedes Benz S600L was custom-built in Germany and armoured to a "B7 Dragunov standard" so that it can withstand AK-47 bullets, grenades and landmines. It is fitted with CD player, movies, Internet and anti-bugging devices. At five tonnes it does about two kilometres per litre of fuel. It has to be followed by a tanker of gas in a country running on empty.

The project, which took three years to complete, is the most visible symbol of how Mugabe and his acolytes have prospered while more than five million of his 11.5 million people are near starvation and will need food aid this year, according to the World Food Programme.

Some 80 per cent of Mugabe’s fellow countrymen are unemployed and those with factory jobs earn an average wage equivalent to about 11 dollars a month.

The size of the house dwarfs by three times the size of State House, the home of the head of state and earlier British governors. Its interior decoration by South African, Arab and Chinese designers is being supervised by 81-year-old Mugabe’s 40-year-old wife, Grace. Its size and expense raises the question of how Mugabe paid for it, since his annual salary until recently was only the equivalent of 44,000 dollars a year.

Opposition MPs have unsuccessfully asked in parliament where Mugabe got the foreign currency to import materials from Europe, the Middle East and China. Zimbabwe has suffered a foreign exchange crisis as a result of the country’s economic collapse, which has seen gross domestic product drop for each of the past seven successive years.

"No extravagance has been spared on the three-storey palace. Marble has been imported from Italy. The finest European crystal, sunken baths with Jacuzzi fittings and oriental rugs are all part of the décor. The soaring ceilings were decorated by Arab craftsmen"

The president was clearly agitated when, in an interview with Sky News reporter Stuart Ramsey broadcast in Britain last year, he denied that the mansion had been built with Zimbabwean taxpayer’s money.

He said the Serbian company had donated material and labour at cost, supplemented by gifts of fine timber from Malaysian prime minister Makathir Mohammad and roof tiles from China. “You say it is lavish because it is attractive,” Mugabe told Ramsey. “It has Chinese roofing material which makes it very beautiful, but it was donated to us – the Chinese are our good friends, you see.”

The source declined to confirm whether Mugabe and his wife have moved into the house, but added that residents in the area of the palace are being subjected to regular security checks.

No extravagance has been spared on the three-storey palace. Marble has been imported from Italy. The finest European crystal, sunken baths with Jacuzzi fittings and oriental rugs are all part of the décor. The soaring ceilings were decorated by Arab craftsmen.

There is a sprawling entertainment area, a master bedroom suite, apartments for each of the three Mugabe children, servants’ quarters, a helicopter pad, extensive garage systems and swimming pools. Mugabe professes to be a Marxist, and on one website which has followed the construction of his new home, a contributor comments, “Marxism is very profitable indeed for those who run it.”

The justice spokesman for the opposition MDC, David Coltart, said, “Until a few years ago it had been assumed that Mugabe himself had not been corrupt. The size of this house suggests otherwise. He must explain to the nation where he got the money from.”

“The palace is an affront to the suffering people of Zimbabwe,” said John Makumbe, a political science lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe and a member of the anti-corruption group, Transparency International. “It shows that Mugabe will need a further push to convince him that he really must negotiate an end to his reign.” – IWPR

An American Woman’s Eclectic Luxury Villa Luxury Mansion in Nairobi , Kenya Sanctuary

Situated on 10 acres of bushlands, the house has corrugated-metal roofs, stone walls and multiple French doors, which help keep the inside cool.
The night the author of that bona fide classic, the imperishable Vanishing Africa, came to stay for the first time at her friend Elizabeth Warner's compound outside Nairobi, the house was indiscernible in the velvety darkness. "I had no idea what to expect," Mirella Ricciardi recalls. "Certainly not what revealed itself as I moved through the shadows of the trees toward the softly lit pale-ocher patio, which seemed strangely out of place for an African homestead—more in keeping with an elegant Provençal abode. Elizabeth's smiling cook, Joseph, accompanied by two large dogs, came out to greet me, taking my bags and my basket of Lamu mangoes…."
Inside lay an oasis of high comfort lapped by luxury. Casting her eyes over "the deep sofas, the heavy wooden furniture, the paintings and antiques, the huge fireplaces with their crackling log fires, the pale-brown rusticated stones that resembled the crust on a loaf of Tuscan bread," Ricciardi, who had famously crisscrossed the continent photographing everything, was prepared to pronounce the house a dream.
"For me, it's more than a dream—it's the fulfillment of a fantasy," Warner herself confides. She was brought up on Park Avenue—"in a uniformed, very regimented way"—until the age of nine, when her mother remarried and took her to live on a farm not far from Nairobi. The wilderness had a bracing effect on the little girl. "There was coffee as far as you could see, and you could hear hyena in the coffee," she recalls.
At some point, she was packed off to boarding school in England; eventually she migrated to Milan, Paris, and New York, working as an Elite agency model, and later, to Los Angeles, where she made mosaics. But all the while she yearned for Kenya and the freedom she had known, the fearless contact with nature. In the year 2000, that great climacteric, she came back determined to build herself a house there.
At the foot of the time-haunted Ngong Hills, Warner found a 10-acre plot on which "nothing had been cut down, nothing had been slashed and burned—the land was virgin." Bush babies and tree hyraxes talked to one another through the long African night, each to each; and the calls and cries of crested cranes, turacos, ibises, and bee-eaters were perfervid and otherworldly. Even the flowers that grew on the place were birds of paradise. "It was—it is—a Garden of Eden," she says simply.
Ricciardi, who had famously crisscrossed the continent photographing everything, was prepared to pronounce the house a dream.
It took the safari guide and conservationist Anthony Russell to reify the fantasy for her—"He made my house happen architecturally." It was on an earlier project of his—the award-winning eco-tourist destination Shompole Lodge in the Great Rift Valley on the border of Tanzania, complete with its various prides of lion—that she had cut her interior decorating teeth ("I had a big hand in Shompole, a huge hand," she says). Warner's rectangular-shaped house is made out of locally quarried stone. "It was a little like building the Pyramids," she laughs. "I mean, we had mountains of stone—and 25 very happy Africans sitting and chipping away at them." The output was enough for several other structures: three identical single-room hand-chipped-stone buildings (two guest cottages and a kitchen, aligned in a circle in the olive-tree-rimmed courtyard) and 10 stables. "I buy my horses young, right off the racetrack, and retrain them to show-jump," she offers. "One of them, Shackleton, has gone from unrideable to brilliant."
The main house is all on one floor and contains but three rooms. The great room is in fact colossal—54 feet long by 40 wide feet. "I didn't want a foyer," she explains. "I wanted the feeling of a camp—and a camp is big, a camp is open." As a consequence, one enters straight into high, whistling space—the ceiling is 26 feet at its peaked height. The doorways in both the great room and the dining room were far too big for conventional doors, so monumental ones had to be constructed (they're mahogany, framed by recycled Burmese teak). In the ballroom-size bedroom, it was the wall that had to be configured to accommodate the door: an exquisite mahogany-and-bone-inlaid affair that Warner picked up on a trip to India.
In search of trappings she also traveled to the Swahili settlement of Siyu in the Lamu archipelago on the east coast of Kenya—she had heard that some beautiful antique Arabian furniture might be for sale there. The village was accessible only by dhow. She arrived on the high tide—magically, under a full moon—and was greeted with great enthusiasm by the villagers, who confessed that they had not received a visitor in over a year. "I was like an apparition—holding an oil lamp, going down the narrow streets." On one of them she found the 19th-century daybed of her heart's desire, and sailed back with it in triumph on the returning tide. Today it complements the great room and is used for reading—"The very first book I read on it was The Unbearable Lightness of Being."
The furnishings are a mixture of ethnic, colonial, and heirloom. The organza curtains that billow out in the great room and the sitting-room-size bath were fashioned from antique silk saris. The table in the dining room was made out of a "lorry of leftovers" from the figwood that Anthony Russell had used to build Shompole Lodge, and the 19th-century round table in the great room out of wooden railroad ties from Jodhpur. The cast-iron claw-foot Victorian bathtub was laboriously transported to Kenya by British colonials in the heady days of Empire. And the brocade church tapestry and the Biedermeier table in the great room once graced Warner's great-grandmother's drawing room at 1040 Fifth Avenue—"She had a sly sense of humor, so I'm sure it wouldn't have bothered her at all that they ended up in the bush."
Vivid, too, are antique Muslim hats; sheep-bladder wall sconces brought back from Morocco ("Sadly, they don't last—they always, always crack"); and cone-shaped Swahili fishing nets inverted and painted white to serve as light fixtures in the kitchen house. With all these wildly imaginative multicultural touches, Elizabeth Warner's compound does indeed possess the singularity of a dream.

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