Africa

Mugabe cast in gold

Ray Ndlovu

President Robert Mugabe will receive a set of gold and platinum coins valued at about $800 000 as a birthday gift from the Zanu-PF youth league.

Cellphone images of the gold coins. (Supplied)

A limited edition of the replica coins will be auctioned off at a fundraising dinner for Mugabe's 89th birthday.

An auction of the replicas was supposed to have taken place on Wednesday night, the eve of Mugabe's birthday, but failed to happen after senior party officials attempted to wrestle control of the coin project, which sparked a furore among Zanu-PF youth league leaders, people involved in the process told the Mail & Guardian. The sources also said all the replicas, minted in South Africa, did not arrive in time for the dinner.

Sources close to the project said the metals for the coins were sourced from a company called the Great Zimbabwe Mining Circle Trust.

"They are like the Nelson Mandela coins and will not be used for commercial purposes but for commemorative purposes," said a youth league official.

The source said the youth league is looking to rake in close to $1-million from the auction of the replicas.

The number of replicas that will be offered for the auction could not be established.

The proceeds from the auction will go to a charity of Mugabe's choice.

Mugabe is seeking his seventh consecutive presidential term in office at elections slated for later this year.

 

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