Zim guards dodge arrest

HONG KONG - Two bodyguards protecting the student daughter of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe could be prosecuted for working in Hong Kong on tourist visas, officials confirmed yesterday.

HONG KONG - Two bodyguards protecting the student daughter of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe could be prosecuted for working in Hong Kong on tourist visas, officials confirmed yesterday.

The two bodyguards were found to be working on tourist visas after they allegedly roughed up two photographers in June outside Bona Mugabe's Hong Kong home.

They were spared prosecution because the department of justice ruled that they were acting out of concern for the safety of Bona Mugabe, who studies in Hong Kong.

But after an investigation into their visa status the department confirmed yesterday that there was a case for the two bodyguards to answer.

Working illegally in Hong Kong carries a jail term of up to two years.

The police have been advised to formally interview Marks Mapfumo and his female colleague Reliance Manyaira.

But the pair are unlikely to face prosecution since they returned to Zimbabwe and have since been replaced by other bodyguards.

The department declined to comment yesterday on whether any action was being contemplated against the Mugabe family.

Mapfumo and Manyaira were reported to police on February 13 after allegedly roughing up two photographers, Timothy O'Rourke and Colin Galloway, outside the Mugabes' luxury house.

The fracas came just a month after another photographer, Richard Jones, was allegedly beaten up by Grace Mugabe when he took pictures of her shopping in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Grace claimed diplomatic immunity over the incident and has since returned to visit her daughter Bona, who is studying in the city - Sapa-dpa

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