Updated: March 7, 2021
Three suspected thieves are on trial in Zimbabwe for robbing the country’s ousted president, Robert Mugabe.
The three suspects include two cleaners who carried out the theft and a relative of Mr Mugabe who gave them the keys to his rural home.
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Constantia Mugabe and the two cleaners are accused of stealing a suitcase containing $150,000 cash from Mugabe, and then spending the money on cars, homes and animals.
A government-owned media outlet reported that Constantia Mugabe gave the keys to Mr Mugabe’s rural home in Zvimba, near the capital Harare, to the cleaners who carried out the theft some time between 1 December and early January.
“Johanne Mapurisa bought a Toyota Camry… and a house for $20,000 after the incident,” state prosecutor Teveraishe Zinyemba told Chinhoyi magistrates court, according to news reports.
“Saymore Nhetekwa also bought a Honda… and livestock which included pigs and cattle for an undisclosed amount.”
Mr Mugabe, now 94, was forced out of office by Zimbabwe’s military in 2017 after 37 years in power, first as prime minister and later as president.
Mugabe was for many years accused of enjoying a lavish lifestyle while the country’s economy collapsed and most people suffocated.
Since he left power, he has struggled to walk and has spent several months in Singapore for medical treatment.
The three suspects have been released on bail. The AFP news agency reported that a fourth is still at large.