Harare -Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe is to start making chocolate and ice-cream at her state-of-the-art dairy this month, the Herald newspaper reported on Tuesday.

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IOL pic nov18 EPA zimbabwe grace mugabe

Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe is to start making chocolate and ice-cream at her state-of-the-art dairy, the Herald newspaper reported. File picture: Aaron Ufumeli

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Alpha Omega Dairies, in Mazowe, north of Harare, currently produces fresh milk, lacto (sour milk), fruit juice, and yoghurt.

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“We have done much of the installation on the ice-cream and chocolate manufacturing plant which is required to be done by our company,” Alpha Omega Dairies general manager Stanley Nhari was quoted as saying.

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“We believe that before the end of this month we must have the ice-cream in the streets.”

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Grace Mugabe took over the dairy farm after its former white owner was evicted early on in President Robert Mugabe’s controversial land reforms.

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Last month opposition MPs said in Parliament that part of the Zimbabwean central bank’s massive US1.3 billion debt was accumulated by money borrowed from the institution – and never repaid – by the Mugabes to start the dairy.

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The president’s 49-year-old wife owns several other properties in Mazowe, including a farm where she runs a private school and an orphanage.

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She is reported to be taking over a nearby game park, Manzou Estate, where people were recently evicted to make way for animals.

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Nhari said the dairy was expected to increase milk production this year from 22 000 litres per day to 40 000 litres.