Africa

NORTHERN EXPOSURE

Robert Mugabe Jnr arrested on charge of malicious damage to property

Robert Mugabe Jnr arrested on charge of malicious damage to property
Robert Mugabe Junior. (Photo: EPA-EFE / AARON UFUMELI)

The state-controlled Herald newspaper initially published the story of the former president’s son’s arrest but later withdrew the story from its website after state agents allegedly phoned the editor of the publication.

Former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s son Robert Mugabe Jnr (31) was arrested on Sunday.

He was escorted by detectives to the Harare Magistrates’ Court on Monday, but prosecutors referred his matter back to the police station ‘for further management’. He is charged with malicious damage to property. 

The national spokesperson of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, confirmed Mugabe’s arrest.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police confirms that Robert Tinotenda Mugabe Junior (31) has been arrested on malicious damage to property allegations after a complaint by his friend Nkatazo Sindiso (31) that he destroyed property worth US$12,000 at House number 3A Verdi Lane, Strathaven, Harare. He will appear in court in due course,” said Assistant Commissioner Nyathi.

When prosecutors referred the matter back to Avondale police station where it is being managed, Mugabe was immediately whisked away by aides. 

His lawyer, Ashiel Mugiya, told Daily Maverick: “I am not in a position to discuss this matter at the moment. You may try a bit later when I’m done with the police, but certainly, the matter is now out of court as you may have seen.”  


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The state-controlled Herald newspaper initially published the story of the former president’s son’s arrest but later withdrew the story from its website after state agents allegedly phoned the editor of the publication.

Sources at the publication told Daily Maverick that President Emmerson Mnangagwa felt his government would be portrayed in a bad light, as the country marks Robert Mugabe Youth Day this Tuesday.

“We were told that the arrest of Robert Mugabe Junior coincided with his father’s birthday, which falls tomorrow … there will be a big national event to be held in Lupane [in Matabeleland] and Mugabe’s siblings are expected to attend. So they [state agents] said it would be embarrassing to celebrate the day when Mugabe’s son would be behind bars,” said a journalist at the newspaper, who asked for anonymity. 

This is not the first time the Mugabes have had a brush with the law. Former first lady Grace Mugabe allegedly assaulted a South African model, Gabriella Engels, in a hotel room in Johannesburg, when her husband was still in power. She is yet to be prosecuted.

Robert Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist for 37 years, was removed from power in November 2017 following a bloodless coup that was endorsed by the international community. Following his death, his wife refused to allow the state to inter his remains at the national shrine, arguing that she was following her husband’s wishes. 

Mnangagwa and the former first lady did not speak for almost three years, only for the two to meet in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Robert Mugabe Jnr then stunned many Zimbabweans when he appeared at a rally in Epworth, just outside Harare, in the company of socialite Passion Java, where he endorsed Mnangagwa. Mugabe Jnr is reportedly eyeing a parliamentary seat in Zvimba West. DM

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