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Four in Zimbabwean court for booing Grace Mugabe


Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (R) is congratulated by First Lady Grace Mugabe after he unveiled a plaque at the country’s main international airport in Harare, Zimbabwe, renamed after him on November 9, 2017.<br />Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe attended a ceremony re-naming Harare Airport in his honour on November 9, 2017, as his sacking of the vice president fuelled speculation over his succession plans. The 93-year-old president unveiled a plaque at the newly named Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, located 15 kilometers (nine miles) outside the centre of the capital. The refurbishment of the airport has been condemned by opposition figures as a waste of money. / AFP PHOTO / Jekesai NJIKIZANA

Four people have appeared in court in Zimbabwe on charges of undermining the authority of President Robert Mugabe after his wife was heckled while addressing a rally, a state-owned newspaper reported Friday.

The Herald said the four were arrested after attending a ruling ZANU-PF party rally in the country’s southwestern city of Bulawayo where Grace Mugabe was jeered during a speech on Saturday.

Prosecutor Jerry Mutsindikwa told a magistrate court that “the quartet, with others allegedly sang the song ‘into oyenzayo siyayizonda'” — whose lyrics in Ndebele mean “we hate what you are doing” — while Grace addressed the rally.


They are “facing a charge of undermining the authority of the president,” he said.

The incident angered Mugabe who spoke at the same rally shortly after his wife, accusing his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa of organising and sponsoring the hecklers.

He vowed to fire Mnangagwa, which he did two days later, in a dramatic move that appeared to open the way for his wife Grace to succeed him in office.

Grace Mugabe could be appointed as one of the country’s two vice presidents at the party congress next month.

Mnangagwa who had been touted as an obvious successor to Mugabe, fled into exile this week. His whereabouts are unknown.

The arrest of the four ZANU-PF activists came as the Zimbabwe high court Thursday granted bail to Martha O’Donovan, a 25-year-old American journalist charged with charged with insulting Mugabe and attempting to subvert the regime on account of an alleged tweet that described the ageing leader as “selfish and sick”.

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