Zimbabwe: Four arraigned for jeering at Grace Mugabe

Grace Mugabe
Grace Mugabe

Four people accused of booing First Lady Grace Mugabe are facing charges of undermining the president’s authority.

They were arrested after a rally in Bulawayo where Mrs Mugabe spoke last Saturday, the state-owned Herald newspaper reports.

They have now been released on bail and have not yet commented on the charges.

The booing came amid a bitter battle between rival factions of the governing Zanu-PF party to succeed President Robert Mugabe, aged 93.

Mrs Mugabe leads one faction, while former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa leads the other. He was sacked two days after the heckling and has since fled to neighbouring South Africa.


The four accused are said to be supporters of Mr Mnangagwa.

Meanwhile, an American satirist arrested last week for allegedly referring to President Mugabe as “a goblin” has been freed on bail due to what the judge called “an absence of facts”.

The three men and one woman have been freed on bail of $50 (£38) each and banned from attending a forthcoming presidential rally in the capital Harare.

Prosecutor Jerry Mutsindikwa told a magistrate court that “the quartet, with others, allegedly sang the song ‘into oyenzayo siyayizonda'” – the lyrics of which say “we hate what you are doing” in Ndebele – while Mrs Mugabe addressed the rally, the Herald reports.

Mrs Mugabe had been pushing for the removal of Mr Mnangagwa, referring to him as a snake that “must be hit on the head.”

He has been a close ally of the president for 40 years, dating back to the 1970s war of independence in which Mr Mugabe rose to prominence and his removal makes Mrs Mugabe the favourite to succeed her husband.

She is now expected to be appointed vice-president at a special Zanu-PF congress next month.

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