Charges Withdrawn for Women Accused of Booing First Lady in Zimbabwe


Nine women who had been arrested in Zimbabwe for allegedly booing the first lady have had the charges dropped, local media report.

They were withdrawn on the instructions of First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, the reports said, citing presidential spokesperson George Charamba.

“Both the first lady and police commissioner general agreed the officers on the ground overreacted,” Mr Charamba was quoted as saying.

The women, who ranged in age between 19 and 49, were said to have allegedly booed Mrs Mnangagwa after missing out on food and clothing handouts that she was distributing at a charity event in the eastern Manicaland province last Wednesday.

“Prosecutors charged that the women, who were seated on the ground stood up and started booing the first lady while she was making her closing remarks during her address intending to disrupt her speech and show disgruntlement that they had not received anything from her,” the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZHLR), who represented the women in court, said.

They had been accused of “unlawful, abusive and insulting” behaviour towards the first lady and were subsequently charged with disorderly conduct, ZHLR added.

The organisation said the women denied the charges, arguing that they had been arrested for leaving the event while the first lady was still speaking.


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