Former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe says his wife cries daily, a newspaper reported on Friday.
Mugabe reportedly said the Mnangagwa-led administration is ‘persecuting’ former First Lady Grace Mugabe.
The former leader was ousted three months ago after he was forced to step down following a military takeover.
According to Zimbabwe Independent, Mugabe told the African Union’s Moussa Faki Mahamat during a courtesy call he made to the Mugabes’ Harare mansion this week that he doesn’t feel safe.
“They told you I was safe, but how can I be in this environment?,” Mugabe reportedly told Faki.
“My wife is crying daily. They are persecuting her… What am I without my wife and family? We are not safe. We have constitutional benefits, for example, but these are being denied” the Zimbabwe Independent quoted Mugabe as saying, citing “detailed notes” supplied by officials who attended the meeting.
“It’s not like I am crying for those benefits. I joined the struggle to fight to free my people, not to personally benefit anything, but why deny me benefits that I am constitutionally entitled to?” Mugabe asked.
“Why are they harassing people? Some of them are overzealous. How do you arrest a whole university vice-chancellor over lies about a PhD? Some of these people are just idiots; they are ignoramuses.”
University of Zimbabwe vice-chancellor Levy Nyagura was last week arrested for alleged abuse of office after being accused of facilitating the awarding of a fake PhD degree to Grace.
Mugabe said before doing her PhD, Grace studied Chinese and got a degree.
“It wasn’t easy,” he said. “She then continued with her studies and ended up doing a PhD. I used to see her here working hard day and night. I would assist her here and there, so how can someone wake up and claim she didn’t work for it? This is harassment,” said Mugabe.