Nearly $1m in cash was stolen from a briefcase belonging to Zimbabwe’s former President Robert Mugabe, the state-owned Herald newspaper reports.

Three people appeared in court earlier this month accused of stealing a suitcase containing $150,000.
But according to “updated court documents” seen by the Herald, Mugabe said he lost much more.

Mugabe with his wife Grace. Pic:Reuters

The court case is ongoing, but according to the timeline of events taken from court papers and published in the Herald, Mugabe took the money to his rural home in Zvimba in a black briefcase while he was president in 2016.

Once there, he allegedly gave the suitcase to Constance Mugabe, a relative who also served as his housekeeper, for safekeeping.

The other suspects were employed as cleaners at the time of the theft, which allegedly happened some time between 1 December 2018 and early January 2019.

In March last year, four months after he had been forced out of office by the military, he reportedly asked for the briefcase, but Constance Mugabe is alleged to have said she did not know of its whereabouts.

Mugabe is later alleged to have asked other staff to look for it – and this was when it was found, but with only $78,000 inside, the Herald reports.
The suspected thieves allegedly spent the money on cars, homes and animals.

“Johanne Mapurisa bought a Toyota Camry… and a house for $20,000 after the incident,” state prosecutor Teveraishe Zinyemba told Chinhoyi magistrates court.

“Saymore Nhetekwa also bought a Honda… and livestock which included pigs and cattle for an undisclosed amount.”

Mugabe, who was in Dubai, reportedly identified the black Polo Club briefcase as the one which went missing when he returned to Harare.

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