Mugabe’s son-in-law Simba Chikore in custody

Robert Mugabe and daughter Bona in Singapore. PHOTO | AFP
Then Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his daughter Bona after her graduation ceremony in Singapore on November 16, 2013. Bona's husband Simba Chikore was arrested on June 7, 2018 over claims of kidnapping. PHOTO | AFP 

Former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe’s son-in-law was taken into police custody on Thursday for allegedly holding an airline lawyer hostage.

Simba Chikore, the husband of Mugabe’s only daughter Bona, was held for questioning following a labour dispute, the police said.

“He was picked up and a warned-and-cautioned statement was recorded following a report by his lawyer for kidnapping,” said police spokesperson Charity Charimba.

The lawyer, Bertha Zakeyo, an employee of Zimbabwe Airways (ZimAirways) – whose ownership is controversial, told the police that Mr Chikore locked her up in the office.

“I called my lawyer but she was denied entry,” she said in a statement to the police.


She said the security guards had been instructed not to allow her anyone to see her.

“When the police came, they said they had been called by Simba to observe my ejection from the office,” Ms Zakeyo added.

With the authorities present, she demand to see her lawyer who was “allowed in after about two hours”.

Ms Zakeyo said Mr Chikore accused her of selling confidential information about the airline.

At the time of going to press, Mr Chikore was still in custody.

Since the establishment of ZimAirways last year, its ownership has been mired in controversy with speculation that it is owned by the Mugabe family.

Mr Chikore is involved in setting up of the airline.

But the government has on several occasions dismissed the reports saying the airline is wholly government-owned and will replace the troubled national carrier Air Zimbabwe, which has debts of more than $300 million.

Earlier this year, the government bought a Boeing 777 aircraft and an Embraer plane from Malaysia to be used by ZimAirways.

Air Zimbabwe can no longer fly to most international destinations because of threats by debtors to impound its aircraft.