In the aftermath of Robert Mugabe’s death Friday, the focus may soon turn to the longtime Zimbabwe strongman’s wife, who served as the country’s controversial former first lady and enjoyed unparalleled protection from prosecution during Mugabe’s life — but who may be in a far more vulnerable position now.
Nearly two years after he was ousted in a military takeover, Grace Mugabe’s future in the former British colony is far from certain. When their fall from power was imminent, Mugabe and his family were promised immunity from prosecution and granted a generous pension by now-President Emmerson Mnangagwa. According to some reports, the agreement between Mugabe and the military concerned Mugabe’s direct and extended family, including his three children with Grace.
But with his death, it’s not clear if that pension or unquestioned protection remain — especially as it relates to the polarizing first lady, whose time next to her husband left a bitter taste across Africa.