THE late former President Robert Mugabe came close to divorcing his younger wife Grace due to issues of infidelity, but it took wise counsel from Mugabe’s former deputy Joice Mujuru to save the Mugabes from divorcing, a close family relative has said.
Mugabe married Grace, 41 years younger than him, in the early 1990s when his first wife Sally was battling a kidney ailment. But the marriage was never rosy and came close to collapsing, according to a report carried by the Daily News on Sunday, quoting close family members.
“There were marital problems that emanated from infidelity. At some stages, Mai Mujuru had to intervene to stop the collapse of the marriage.
“A few years later, Mugabe used this wise counsel from Mai Mujuru to stop the marriage between an army general and his wife from breaking up.
“It was public information within the security circles that it was not all roses in the late president’s marriage,” says a report in the publication.
Mujuru was pushed out of Zanu-PF and Government in 2014 with pressure from Grace Mugabe working with the Lacoste faction to accuse Mujuru of infidelity, corruption, and a plot to overthrow Mugabe using Israeli-trained assassins. Mujuru was, however, never charged for any of the accusations.
Mugabe’s family issues were a closely-guarded secret when he was still in power, but the stuff crept out of the lid when he was removed from power by his own army in November 2017.
Former Telecel Zimbabwe boss and businessman, James Makamba, last year revealed that he fled the country and remained in self-imposed exile for 13 years after Mugabe threatened to kill him on suspicion of having an adulterous affair with Grace.
Makamba made the disclosure after he handed himself over to the Harare Magistrates’ Court after fleeing from justice on August 31, 2005, when he was supposed to appear in court on currency externalisation charges.
The businessman, who was facing charges of externalising funds, told magistrate Hosea Mujaya that he genuinely believed that his life
“Your worship my client was under genuine belief that his life was in danger. It was not in danger of the body of his person, but could have been killed if he continued residing in the country,” said Makamba’s lawyer Charles Chinyama Chinyama.
“The person whom he (Makamba) suspected may harm him is none other than the former Head of State Robert Mugabe who suspected that he was dating his wife, Grace. That man was viewed as the law unto himself.”
Chinyama said Makamba decided to have his day in court following Mugabe’s ouster last November in a military-led campaign, dubbed Operation Restore Legacy.
Said the Daily Mail: “Grace Mugabe – who is 41 years younger than Zimbabwe’s 86-year-old president – has spent the past five years cuckolding him with Gideon Gono, head of the country’s central bank.
“The couple would meet as often as three times a month either at her dairy farm or in expensive hotels in neighbouring South Africa.
“Mugabe finally found out about the affair in July when his sister Sabina revealed the scandal on her deathbed, it was reported. Since then his most-trusted bodyguard Cain Chademana – who is said to have told the furious president that he knew of the affair but thought it best to keep quiet – has lost his life amid suspicions that he was poisoned.
“Once he (Mugabe) hears something like that, I think someone will go to meet God,’ said one Zimbabwean intelligence official,” the paper wrote.
The paper continued: “… a source close to the banker confirmed that he and the first lady were lovers and claimed they had planned a life together after Mugabe’s death.
“The senior official in Gono’s office told South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper: ‘Mugabe trusted Gono. He even thought our boss was taking care of the first lady, keeping a protective eye on her so that she could not again be adulterous.’
“Mugabe’s relationship with Grace, his former secretary, is itself founded on infidelity. Two of their three children were born when Mugabe was still married to his popular first wife, Sally, who was battling a kidney disease from which she died in 1992.”
Other prominent figures in Zimbabwe’s business and political circles have previously been named in secret affairs involving the former First Lady, but it has all remained street gossip.
Mugabe died on 6 September this year and declared a national hero. However, his family chose not to have the body buried at the National Heroes Acre, instead choosing to have the remains interred at his rural home.