Zimbabwe policeman charged for Mugabe 'prostitute' slur

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe turned 92 last month and celebrated his birthday at a lavish party (AFP Photo/Jekesai Njikizana) (AFP/File)

Harare (AFP) - A Zimbabwean policeman has appeared in court after calling 92-year-old President Robert Mugabe "too old to rule" and accusing his wife of being a prostitute, local media reported Wednesday.

Thompson Joseph Mloyi, 44, did not enter a plea at a magistrate's court in Harare over remarks he allegedly made at a camp shared by police and army, the privately-owned newspaper NewsDay said.

He was granted $100 bail at the hearing on Tuesday and is expected to appear for trial on March 15 for "insulting the office of the president".

"Without provocation, the accused started shouting, indicating that President Robert Mugabe is too old to rule and (that) he married a prostitute, Grace Mugabe," NewsDay reported, citing prosecution papers.

Cases of people arrested for insulting Mugabe are common in Zimbabwe and those convicted are often fined.

The world's oldest ruler, Mugabe turned 92 last month and celebrated his birthday at a lavish party.

Despite showing signs of ageing, he recently gave a two-hour television interview and has vowed to stay in power as leader of the ZANU-PF party.

His wife Grace, 50, has become politically active since her elevation to lead the party's women's league, and she launches regular public criticisms of officials she perceives as her rivals.

In his birthday speech, Mugabe lashed out at party youth he said were using social media to insult his wife.

In December, a ruling party legislator was arrested for insulting Grace during a quarrel with a fellow party official in Victoria Falls.