Booing of Zimbabwe’s Grace Mugabe lands four in court
Four people have appeared in a Zimbabwean court for allegedly booing First Lady Grace Mugabe, state-owned media reports.
The Herald says they were arrested after a rally in Bulawayo, where Mrs Mugabe spoke last Saturday.
They reportedly face charges of undermining the president’s authority. It is not clear how they pleaded.
The booing came amid a bitter battle between rival factions to succeed President Robert Mugabe, aged 93.
Mrs Mugabe leads one faction, while former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa led the other. He was sacked two days after the heckling and has since fled to neighbouring South Africa.
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The four accused are said to be supporters of Mr Mnangagwa.
The three men and one woman have been remanded in custody pending a bail hearing.
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.
Mrs Mugabe had been pushing for the removal of the vice-president, referring to him as a snake that “must be hit on the head.”
Mr Mnangwagwa’s removal makes Mrs Mugabe the favourite to succeed her husband.
She is now expected to be appointed vice-president at a special congress of the ruling Zanu-PF party next month.
Who is Grace Mugabe?
- Began affair with Robert Mugabe, 41 years her senior, whilst working as a typist in state house
- Mr Mugabe later said his first wife Sally, who was terminally ill at the time, knew and approved of the relationship
- Married Mr Mugabe, her second husband, in 1996 in an extravagant ceremony. They have three children
- Nicknamed “Gucci Grace” by her critics who accuse her of lavish spending
- Along with her husband, is subject to EU and US sanctions, including travel bans
- Controversially received a PhD in September 2014 after just two months
- Head of Zanu-PF women’s wing
- A model comes forward accusing Grace of assaulting her in South Africa in August 2017