“I was forced to marry Grace” – President Mugabe reveals
President Robert Mugabe reportedly disclosed to relatives that his young wife Grace is strong-headed and he was forced to marry her to please his mother.
Mugabe also says he is powerless to challenge most of her decisions for the sake of peace at home, a leaked audio recording of a family event has revealed.
The 41-minute long recording was allegedly made at First Lady Grace Mugabe’s graduation party on October 14 2014 after she controversially acquired a PhD at the University of Zimbabwe, The Standard reported.
The paper said Mugabe also complained that Grace does not cook for him often enough and regularly changes staff that serve Zimbabwe’s ruler since independence. He said Grace was always busy at her Mazowe orphanage and was hardly at home to cook for him.
“She [Grace] is strong-headed. She is someone who if she says I want this, she will not back down and you will have to give in, in order to maintain peace in the family.” The recording was made at a time Grace was making her entry into politics where she has caused headaches for Mugabe.
After a few months, the veteran ruler was forced to dump some of his long-time allies such as Joice Mujuru and Didymus Mutasa. This came after Grace organised rallies across the country demanding their ejection from the party and government.
Grace has also been identified as one of the people causing factionalism that is threatening to destroy Zanu PF. Mugabe also justifies his controversial marriage to Grace in the recording, saying his mother pressured him to have children. “My mother wanted to see my child. She said to me, your wife is sick and I want to see your child.
I thought about it and concluded that it was good for my mother to see my child before she dies,” he said. “She saw Omar (Bona) and I think where ever she is, she is happy. That was the reason why I married Grace. “Sally had been told by doctors that she would die in 10 years and after 10 years; she did as the doctors had rightly seen,” Mugabe said.
“That is why I did that. I saw her in 1992, she was a young girl of about 21 working in our office. We formally married in 1996 but we had been together.”
He said Grace was determined and he had to allow her to go to school because he wanted her to help him in doing businesses. “Her going to school was good news to me. I wanted her to help us with doing business. She has always been hardworking,” Mugabe said.
“She once had a shop, and we helped her. She later gave the shop to her sister, Mai Gumbochuma. So she has always had a business mind.”
He indicated Grace was also in the habit of hiring and firing cooks. “I am a guinea pig; they learn how to cook on me. I sometimes say, don’t you take cooks from hotels, but they can’t because they will need to be vetted by the security guys,” he said.
“Sometimes that food is badly cooked that you tend to wonder if that will be the food prepared for a president of the people.”
He also revealed that Bona (25) never prepared a meal at home before her marriage to Simba Chikore last year. “Omar left before he prepared sadza for me. The ball is in your court Simba, you will have to teach each other,” he said.
“We are used to sadza, not potatoes. But don’t come back saying she cannot prepare sadza because I have warned you.
“We will hit you with a knobkerrie,” Mugabe said, amid wild slaughters from the audience.” Mugabe often gives insights into him private life during televised interviews to mark his birthdays but rarely goes into detail about his marriage to Grace.