Grace Mugabe made a rare public appearance on Monday for the burial of her political ally Sarah Mahoka.
The 56-year-old widow of former President Robert Mugabe dressed all black as she joined mourners in Karoi, Mashonaland West.
Mahoka died in a car accident on February 17 at the age of 55.
She was returning to her farm with her husband and son when their chauffeur-driven vehicle had a head-on collision with a haulage truck in Buffalo Downs in Karoi. She was just 3km from home.
Mahoka, a former chairperson of the Zanu PF Women’s League in Mashonaland West, was a staunch ally of Grace Mugabe after Zanu PF divided into factions in the latter years of Mugabe’s reign. She was a key figure in the so-called G40 faction, made up of Mugabe loyalists.
A person who attended the funeral said: “It was very emotional for everyone, especially Grace Mugabe. She gave a speech and described Mahoka as principled and dependable to the end.”
The former first lady has kept a low profile since her husband’s death on September 5, 2018, just nine months after he was deposed in a military coup.
She also dared those trying to exhume Mugabe for reburial, saying she had followed his instructions.
“I buried my husband according to the instructions he left me, those who want to exhume him, go ahead, we are watching,” she said.
In 2019, she was filmed in an agitated state after her farm was invaded in Mazowe.
She spent months in Singapore after the incident, reportedly being treated for an undisclosed illness.
Last week, farm equipment owned by the former first family’s company, Gushungo Holdings, was sold at a public auction. It included vehicles, tractors, water pumps, lawn mowers and combine harvesters.