By Staff Reporter
FORMER President Robert Mugabe lost US$150 000 in cash through theft from relatives and domestic workers at his Zvimba rural home.
But the incident has elicited scorn towards the once powerful leader among Zimbabweans who have seen their country suffer recurrent foreign currency and cash shortages.
Mugabe once said during a ZBC TV interview to mark his birthday a couple of years back that he was among many Zimbabweans who have been forced to stash their savings under their pillows because they nolonger trusted local banks with their monies.
He finally paid for his deeds between December 1 and January 5 this year when US$150 000 was stolen from his home by those he had trusted with custody of his belongings.
The suspects are Constancia Mugabe (50), Johanne Mapurisa (50) and Saymore Nhetekwa (47).
They were all hauled before Chinhoyi magistrate Felix Mawadze Wednesday to answer to theft charges and were each granted $2 000 bail.
The state says between the mentioned dates, the trio connived with one Andrew Mahumbe, who is still at large, to steal a briefcase containing US$150 000 in cash as they were cleaning the house.
Constancia Mugabe kept the keys to the house and had unlimited access to all its rooms.
However, the three made it easy for their accusers to link them with the crime when they started accumulating suspicious wealth, which included cars, a residential stand and livestock.
But while theft is frowned upon by Zimbabweans, locals have taken the matter differently, with some saying the former leader deserved to lose every cent from the stolen amount.
Bernard James, a Zimbabwean said while Mugabe should ordinarily earn pity for being a victim of theft, his misfortune actually brings anger among many as it spotlights on the pillage the country has suffered under the ousted leader and his cronies.
“What was he doing with such an amount in his home instead of taking it to the bank,” James said.
“And besides, this is a typical case of one thief stealing from another thief.”
Mugabe and his family have earned rebuke among poor locals who accuse the former first family of extravagance at the expense of the suffering majority.
Former First Lady Grace Mugabe once accused a Lebanese businessman of conning her in a US$1 350 000 diamond ring which the ex-President had reportedly ordered for her to celebrate years of their wedding.
The couple’s oldest son, Robert Junior was also reportedly renting a 10-bedroom villa at US$42 000 a month.