'Grace Mugabe must account for her crimes'

While many Zimbabweans remain grateful to Robert Mugabe for his role in liberating the country from colonial rule, they are less sympathetic towards his wife.

FILE: Former Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe. Picture: AFP

HARARE - While Zimbabweans prepare for the swearing in of Emmerson Mnangagwa, details of the deal which saw Robert Mugabe being granted immunity in exchange for his resignation remain sketchy.

Mugabe was placed under house arrest when the army took over government last week, before resigning due to mounting pressure from his party and the people of Zimbabwe.

Mugabe’s former vice president and now leader of Zanu-PF will be sworn in as interim president at Zimbabwe’s national stadium on Friday morning.

Mugabe appeared to be resisting mounting pressure to relinquish his seat in the highest office of the land, but the promise of immunity and security was enough to seal the deal.

News of Mugabe’s resignation came as parliamentarians debated a motion to impeach him on Tuesday.

As the nation prepares to usher in a new era at the swearing of the incoming interim president, it emerged on Thursday that Mugabe and his wife Grace would be granted immunity and will be allowed to remain in Zimbabwe.

While many Zimbabweans remain grateful to the outgoing president for his role in liberating the country from colonial rule, they are less sympathetic towards his wife.

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Ostellos Sibiza of the Tajamuka social justice movement says the former first lady should face the courts.

“Grace Mugabe must be taken to court and account for the crimes that she has committed in this country. Number two, Grace Mugabe, as soon as we sign The Rome Statute, it means Grace should go there.”

The 93-year-old Mugabe has reportedly said he would not want to be forced out of the country as he wants to die in Zimbabwe.

It’s unclear whether Mugabe or his wife will attend the inauguration ceremony today.

At the same time, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has made its first official comment since Mugabe resigned as president.

MDC has urged the new government to dismantle all pillars of repression and oppression that it says have been put in place by Mugabe.

In a statement, the party says it remains firmly convinced that all pillars of the Mugabe dictatorship have to tumble.

It says Zimbabweans are looking forward to a new and refreshing era of political tolerance and socioeconomic.

The MDC says it's cautiously optimistic that the Mnangagwa presidency will not “replicate the evil - corrupt and incompetent Mugabe regime”.

Meanwhile, it's emerged Mugabe told negotiators during a settlement with authorities that he wants to die at home and has no plans to live in exile.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)