Mugabe accused of assaulting housekeeper until blood ‘gushed’
Warning: This article contains graphic descriptions of violence.
Zimbabwe’s former First Lady Grace Mugabe faces a second allegation of assault after she was accused of beating an employee at the family’s Harare mansion.
Mrs Mugabe, 53, is said to have become enraged that her 95-year-old husband gave the housekeeper a cash wedding gift, punching and striking the woman about the face with a shoe until blood gushed from her wounds.
Mrs Mugabe, sometimes known as “Gucci Grace”, is already wanted in South Africa on separate charges of attacking a model who had been drinking with her sons in Johannesburg.
Shupikai Chiroodza was formally employed by the government at State House, Mr Mugabe’s 10,000 square meter official residence which he built 15 years ago but chose not to live in.
However, the newlywed maid was seconded to the Mugabes’ private residence and claims she was assaulted there on 13 March.
“She started shouting at me and seized me by the neck and pulled me inside the house and locked the door,” Mrs Chiroodza said in her court application.
“She started beating me with clenched fists shouting, ‘who do you think you are here, you are milking my husband behind my back.’
“She removed her shoes and continued assaulting me with them and blood started gushing out of my forehead, mouth and nose.”
She told her lawyer, Doug Coltart, that the former first lady told her to return the cash wedding present and not to tell anyone about the events of that day.
The former housekeeper, who has a newborn child and whose husband is unemployed, said she had never been fired and wanted her job and benefits but had failed to persuade Mr Mugabe’s administration to reinstate her.
She was also rebuffed, she claims, by senior civil servants employed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa who came to power via a Coup d’etat later in 2017.
“She tried all the avenues she could to get her job back. It is unusual as a labour case as we have argued she was never fired. She was just told not to come back to work,” Mr Coltart said.
He said the matter was being handled by the civil division of the Attorney-General’s office.
Mrs Mugabe allegedly attacked model Gabrielle Engels with an electrical extension chord in a Johannesburg hotel nearly five months after her clash with her housekeeper.
Mr Mugabe is still in Singapore receiving medical treatment, according to members of the family in Harare. Mrs Mugabe recently returned to Zimbabwe.