Published On: Fri, Sep 6th, 2019

Robert Mugabe dead: What happens to wife Grace after death of former Zimbabwe President? | World | News

The former President of Zimbabwe is believed to have died in Singapore, where he visited regularly for health checks. Mugabe was an extremely divisive and controversial figure. Once celebrated, his reign will now be remembered for economic catastrophe, dictatorial leadership and persistent corruption. Having ruled for close to 40 years, Mugabe was ousted from the presidency in November 2017 by his own military during a coup.

He refused to leave office for eight days before resigning as the crisis grew out of control and his support dwindled.

The news was greeted by mass jubilation in the streets of capital Harare, parliament and across Zimbabwe. The tensions in 2017 started during a leadership race to replace then President Mugabe.

The two candidates were protege to the president – Emmerson Mnangagwa – and Grace Mugabe, wife of Robert.

Both expressed disdain for one another, with accusations of threatening violence going both ways.

Mnangagwa fled the country leaving Grace Mugabe as the only candidate to replace Robert remaining, the spark for the coup d’etat.

The Mugabe’s were promised immunity from prosecution and granted a generous pension as Mnangagwa took over in a move many in Zimbabwe as a mere changing of the guard for the same repressive reign.

However, now the former President has passed away, will Grace remain protected?

When the deal was struck between Mugabe and the military following the coup, it was agreed that direct and extended family would be protected from any repercussions.

The remaining support for Robert, dwindling as it is, was enough to justify the generous pension offer from the Zanu-PF – but with his wife’s public image in tatters, she may not be so lucky.

In December 2018, an arrest warrant was issued by South Africa after Grace allegedly assaulted model Gabriella Engels in Johannesburg.

An extradition agreement had reportedly been agreed but current President Mnangagwa has not addressed the issue.

For now her immunity remains uncontested, but her unpopularity and diplomatic recklessness could result in a less desirable fate.

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