Former embattled Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe has been robbed of nearly $1 million, the money was stolen from a suitcase owned by ousted Zimbabwean President. According to updated court papers Mugabe had filled the bag with a million dollars and stashed it in the library of his country home in Zvimba, west of the capital, in 2016.
Only $78,000 was found in the bag on January 6 this year, according to The Herald citing court documents. The three accused which include Constancia Mugabe, 50, a relative of the president appeared before Chinhoyi magistrates court on Thursday and were ordered to return on February 7.
Mugabe’s whereabouts have been unconfirmed since late November when President Emmerson Mnangagwa, his successor, said the ailing 94-year-old was in Singapore for medical treatment and was now unable to walk. According to prosecutors Constancia Mugabe had keys to Mugabe’s rural house allowing the other suspects, who were employed as cleaners, to gain full access to the property when the theft occurred.
The court earlier this month heard that the three suspected thieves had stolen $150,000, but the updated court papers released on Thursday showed that he lost $922,000. Robert Mugabe’s 37-year reign was marked by state corruption, economic collapse and brutal repression of dissent.
US dollars are prized in crisis-hit Zimbabwe, where a currency crisis was one of the reasons behind deadly protests that rocked the country last week. The protests were sparked by a steep increase in the price of fuel and an ensuing security crackdown claimed a dozen lives – mainly from gunfire – and the injury of hundreds.More than 1,100 people have been arrested in the crackdown.
It was recall last year, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s office spent more than $50 million on foreign travel last year, official figures show.According to a financial statement published in the latest government gazette, foreign travel expenses totaled $53.2 million in 2016. According to the figures in the “Consolidated Statement of Financial Performance of the Consolidated Revenue Fund”, this was way above the $23 million initially allocated for travel under last year’s budget. The private Financial Gazette paper, citing treasury figures, on Thursday reported that Mugabe’s office had already spent $34.4 million on travel by October.The allocation for foreign travel expenses exceeded those made to other key ministries and institutions, the paper said. By comparison, only $30 million was allocated to parliament and $35 million to the industry ministry.
Mugabe’s numerous foreign trips are criticized by opponents as unnecessary at a time the government is struggling to pay wages and properly equip public hospitals.
Mugabe government was recorded as one of the worst in African history due to his authoritative approach to governance.