ROBERT Mugabe who died today is being remembered for being a destructive despot who lived a life of luxury as the “breadbasket of Africa” starved.
Together with his wife Grace, he made sure imploding Zimbabwe bankrolled shopping trips in Paris, Rome and London and furnished him with a fully staffed £8million mega-mansion.
The dictator, who has died aged 95, lived in a 25-bedroom palace called Blue Roof in Harare which had all the trappings of an embezzling emperor.
He often boasted that “Zimbabwe is mine” and in fact it plainly was — and he made sure he rinsed it for all it was worth.
Despite his old age, he continued to live it up.
On his 91st birthday in 2015 was a high water mark of decadence which included feasting on a baby elephant, buffalo and other wild animals.
Entertainment included dancing, poetry, beauty parades and football competitions.
The cake, meanwhile, weighed the same in kilograms as his age.
The £1million party were covered by a gushing — state controlled — media but given the state of the country many were not in the mood to celebrate.
Four decades of rule saw his country descend into poverty and hyperinflation. Meanwhile $1billion was snatched to pay the Mugabes bills.
Death squads dealt with those who dared to complain.
But all this didn’t stop the minted Muigabes from showing off their extraordinary wealth.
His daughter, Bona, was married in the 60-acre gardens of the Mugabes’ Borrowdale estate at a cost of £4million.
Caterers were flown in from Singapore.
Grace Mugabe also dipped her hand in the bottomless pit.
So blatant was her spending, she was known in her stricken country as the “First Shopper”, “Gucci Grace” or simply “DisGrace”.
She was well-heeled to the hilt with a mountain of Salvatore Ferragamo shoes.
But shopping can be hard work, as was shown when she famously spent £60,000 in one department store, according to Forbes magazine.
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And keeping the tradition of rubbing the nose of Zimbabwean people in their wealth, Berlamine Chatunga, earlier this year posted an Instagram video of himself pouring a £400 bottle of Armand de Brignac Champagne over his diamond-encrusted watch, accompanied by the free-living caption: “$60,000 on the wrist when your daddy run the country ya know!!!”
Fittingly, Robert Mugabe died in a five star hospital in Singapore.
Meanwhile many of his countrymen and women struggle to buy even paracetamol.
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