Africa

Grace Mugabe concentrating on building Robert Mugabe University

Grace Mugabe, wife of former Zimbabwe president, Robert Mugabe, is reportedly planning to build a university in her husband’s name.

The former president’s nephew, Leo Mugabe, disclosed this at the weekend, saying: “I like the spirit she has, she is with him all the time. She is an amazing person. She wants to continue planning the Robert Mugabe University so they have something to do”.

It would be recalled that in August, Zimbabwe, then under Mugabe, announced plans in August to build the $1 billion post-graduate university in Mazowe, 35 kilometres (20 miles) outside Harare.

Leo said Mugabe was in good health and “quite jovial” after being forced to resign when a military takeover ended his 37 years in power.

He however declined to discuss the $10 million retirement bonus reportedly granted to the 93-year-old former president as part of a deal that finally persuaded him to resign on Tuesday.

“He is fine. I have been to see him, he is quite jovial,” the son of Mugabe’s late sister Sabina told AFP.

“He is actually looking forward to his new life — farming and staying at the rural home. He has taken it well.”

In the exit negotiations, Mugabe was granted a $10-million lump sum, full immunity and allowed to keep his assets, according to the respected Zimbabwe Independent newspaper.

He will still be paid his full salary, in line with constitution, while Grace Mugabe will reportedly receive half his pay after his death.

Asked about the deal, Mugabe’s long-time spokesman George Charamba told AFP that “the package of a retiring president will be defined (by) law”.

He earlier said immunity had never been discussed during the talks between the president and the army chiefs who briefly put Mugabe under house arrest.

Grace Mugabe, 52, was alleged to have positioned herself to be Mugabe’s chosen successor, prompting the military to intervene on November 14 and usher in its preferred candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mnangagwa, a former close ally of Mugabe for decades, has vowed sweeping changes to revive the country’s moribund economy.

In his inaugural address on Friday, Mnangagwa also paid tribute to Mugabe, describing him as one of the “founding fathers of our nation”.

Critics fear Mnangagwa — who has been accused of overseeing violence and ethnic massacres — could prove as authoritarian as his predecessor.

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