People & Power

Geo-politics, global, national and local influence. This section is dedicated to monitoring the role of the political class and influential citizens in shaping policies that affect the future of Africa.

It’s happened before, Zimbabwe’s First Lady has a thing for assaulting ordinary citizens

Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe could face legal action after allegedly assaulting a 20 year old model, Gabriella Engels, who was visiting her two sons Robert Jnr, 25, and Chatunga 21, in South Africa.

The telegraph stated that “the two sons are supposed to be studying in Johannesburg but were recently evicted from their luxury apartment after been caught in a drunken brawl in which a security guard was injured” leading to their housing in a hotel”.

The model had sent out pictures of a wound on her head which she claimed was caused by the first lady, who flew back 24hrs after she had just got back from receiving medical treatment in South Africa.

Gabriella-Engels

News24, a South African news site reported that Mrs. Mugabe attacked Gabriella with an extension cord after finding her in a hotel with her sons with the first lady accusing her of living with them.

The beating is said to have left the model’s head with a scar which could cause a permanent damage to the young lady’s modelling career.

While speaking to News24 over the phone, the model from Johannesburg, claimed that the first lady attacked her while her guards looked on and did nothing to stop the incident. On her twitter account, the model tweeted, “She split my head open in 3 places with an extension cord and used the plug to hit me”.

The CEO of capital hotel group in a report declined to name Mrs. Mugabe, but confirmed that the guest were asked to leave a hotel after an incident”. However, after the event came to limelight, there has been a question if the first lady would be charged or if she would get diplomatic immunity.

In response , the Department of International Relations spokesperson, Clayson Monyela, said immunity does not appeal to Mrs. Mugabe as she is not a government official and was not in South Africa on official visit.

This won’t be the first time Mrs Mugabe is being publicly accused of assault on ordinary citizens. In 2009, Mrs Mugabe faced a possible wounding charge after being accused of repeatedly punching British photographer, Richard Jones who tried to photograph her while outside an upmarket Hong Kong department store. Mugabe’s diamond ring was severally used to punch the photographer who sustained facial injuries.

Hong Kong’s Department of Justice let her off the hook by saying ‘Grace Mugabe is not liable to arrest or detention and enjoys immunity from criminal prosecution.’ The justice department declined to say if Mrs Mugabe had requested immunity or whether it was granted automatically.