A Zimbabwean court has acquitted a legislator of insulting President Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace, who is seen as a possible successor to the veteran leader, an independent daily reported Wednesday.
Justice Wadyajena was accused of shouting “abusive or insulting language” at a fellow ZANU-PF party member who had a portrait of Grace Mugabe and pro-Grace slogans emblazoned on his car.
“The aspect of insulting the First Lady is no longer there,” Givemore Muvhiringi, Wadyajena’s lawyer, told the News Day.
“The court agreed with us, so they said he won’t be prosecuted,” Muvhiringi said, adding that his client may still face a charge of disorderly conduct.
Wadyajena, aged 35, was alleged to have shouted at the owner of the car in the resort town of Victoria Falls during the annual conference of the ruling ZANU-PF party in December.
Wadyajena was quoted in court papers as having told Muduvuri: “You are a fool as well as that mother of yours.” The first lady is referred to as “mother” by the ruling party supporters.
Wadyajena has been linked to a party faction loyal to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is another potential candidate to take over from Mugabe.
Mugabe, aged 91, who has led the country since independence in 1980, has avoided naming a successor and his party has been riven by infighting between factions jostling to succeed him.