The wife of Zimbabwe’s President, Grace Mugabe was detained briefly at Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore after she attacked two journalists at the facility on consecutive days, attempting to woman-handle them and throwing their devices into a fish pond sources in Singapore have confirmed to Khuluma Afrika.
On Friday the 7th of July, 2017, Zimbabwe’s President, Robert Mugabe (93) was flown to Singapore for what state media claimed is / was a routine medical check-up. His previous visit had been in May, for another medical check up.
Over the last 6 years or so, Mugabe has frequented the Southeast Asia city state for medical check-ups, medical treatment, and at least twice for eye surgery.
But, on this most recent visit, Mugabe’s wife Grace behaved badly, very badly.
Mugabe’s trip to Singapore was leaked to online media the very day he left. On arrival at Gleneagles Hospital, Mugabe’s wife, who often has to be in charge while her husband dozes off arrived with her husband and entrouge, to find the hospital packed with local journalists.
Grace, who does not take too kindly to her husband’s perceived weaknesses, especially in public was annoyed. She threw a huge fit, before charging at the journalists. She grabbed equipment belonging to one local journalist, and tried to destroy it.
During the scuffle, she grabbed one cellphone belonging to another journalist whop tried to take pictures and threw it into a water pond.
Security at the high profile hospital managed to end the scuffle, while Mrs. Mugabe was restrained by members of her security and protocol team.
It did not end there.
The very next day, when Grace returned at the hospital, to check up on her husband, she was confronted by an even bigger flock of journalists, buoyed by her behaviour the previous day, and hoping to catch a glimpse of the nonagenarian Mugabe should he be discharged that day.
Again, she charged at the journalists, grabbed another cellphone and threw it into the same pond.
This time however, police were called in by hospital staff and journalists. They responded in express time.
Grace Mugabe appeared confident when police arrived, probably secure under the belief that her diplomatic immunity would make her untouchable.
The police however were unimpressed, and demanded that Mrs. Mugabe replace compensate the journalists she attacked for loss of their devices, or the family would not be allowed to leave the hospital, which by that time, police had barricaded.
Members of the Mugabe entrouge then took time to sort the matter out, negotiating with police and the aggrieved partners.
The Mugabe’s eventually paid $1300 USD to the scribes whose phones had been ponded. After which, police allowed the family to leave once treatment was complete.
It is not the first time Grace Mugabe has hogged the limelight for attacking journalists. In 2009, British Photographer Richard Jones was beaten up and punched repeatedly by Mrs. Mugabe as he was trying to snap photos of her in Hong Kong. Police were again called. Following the attacks, Mrs. Mugabe’s trips to Hong Kong diminished, likely because authorities were unpleased by her unruly behaviour.
Khuluma Afrika is a center for investigative journalism and political analysis.
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