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Robert Mugabe's son arrested in Zimbabwe over cars trashed at Harare party

A son of Zimbabwe's former President, Robert Mugabe, has been arrested over allegations he damaged property at a Harare party. Robert Mugabe junior, thought to be 31, faces three counts of malicious damage to property and two charges of assault on a police officer, his lawyer says. Car windscreens were allegedly smashed and an officer spat on. He denies the charges and says he is innocent. He has been freed and is trying to reach an amicable settlement. The arrest came after a complaint from his friend, Sindiso Nkatazo, also 31, police said in a tweet. They also said the damaged property was valued at $12,000 (£10,000). Mr Mugabe junior is the second child of the former president with his widow, Grace. News site ZimLive posted a video of Mr Mugabe junior walking to Harare Magistrates' Court wearing a suit and facemask, followed by a throng of people, as others stood on the sidelines taking pictures of him on their phones. In court, his lawyer Ashiel Mugiya argued that the prosecutors had not done a thorough investigation and suggested an out-of-court settlement as Mr Mugabe junior and the complainant are friends. If these negotiations fail, the former president's son will be summoned back to court, Mr Muyiga said. He added that the charges of assault against an officer and resisting arrest were likely to be dropped. Former President Robert Mugabe died in 2019 at the age of 95, two years after being forced to resign following 37 years in power. He led the 1970s fight against white-minority rule in what used to be called Rhodesia but was later accused of using violence to win elections and destroying Zimbabwe's economy. It is extremely unlikely that his son would have been arrested if his father was still president, analysts say. Mr Mugabe was replaced by his former right-hand man Emmerson Mnangagwa. Relations between him and the Mugabe family had been fraught after they accused him of betraying Zimbabwe's long-time leader. His widow, Grace, had harboured ambitions of succeeding her husband but was sidelined by supporters of Mr Mnangagwa. However, Mr Mugabe junior has since reconciled with President Mnangagwa and last year attended a rally where he was publicly welcomed back into the ruling Zanu-PF party. By Shingai Nyoka & Cecilia Macaulay BBC News, Harare & London

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