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Mugabe reminisces about late wife, Sally
11/09/2014 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe, who has watched as his young wife Grace takes a plunge into the country’s political minefield, on Thursday took time to reminisce about his much-respected first wife, Sally.

The popular Ghanaian died of kidney complications in 1992, allowing Mugabe to go on and marry his long-time mistress, Grace, in 1996.

While addressing an international business conference and inviting delegates to visit the country’s diverse tourist facilities, Mugabe suddenly went into a monologue, reminiscing on his times with his first wife.

“My late wife Sally used to appreciate the balancing rocks so much and she would constantly quiz me why such features of rocks carrying other rocks were not found in her home country, Ghana.

“I would chide her and say we could carry a few rocks to Ghana, balance them in the same way as those in Epworth so she could watch when she visits,” Mugabe said.

Mugabe met Sally, nee Hayfron, at a college where they were both teachers in Ghana. They married in the then Rhodesia in 1961 and Sally went into exile in London in 1967 following the arrest of her husband who would spend 10 years in prison.

Their only son, Nhamodzenyika, was born in 1963 but died of malaria in Ghana in 1966 while Mugabe was still incarcerated by the Ian Smith regime.

On Thursday, the veteran leader launched into another of his famous history lectures, this time reliving his courtship with Sally in Ghana.

“I remember when I was still a bachelor staying in Ghana, I drove a German-made two door car and its colour was as blue as the sky but thinking of the colour now it is quite repulsive and not grounded,” he said

“Looking back at the time, the colour was a means and a mechanism by a bachelor to attract women and let me say at the end of my adventure I found myself a wife and brought her back to Zimbabwe with me.”

Sally is remembered fondly by most Zimbabweans with her death in 1992 seen as the time Mugabe began indurating policies, a shift blamed for ruining a once promising country.

In contrast, Grace is viewed with scorn and dismissed as ‘disGrace’ or ‘Gucci Grace’ because of her extravagant lifestyle.

She has also been condemned for forcibly putting together a vast property portfolio and seizing farms in the Mazoe area, site of a vast compound she this week revealed cost her about US$7 million.


Grace's case was not helped by the fact that she started her relationship with Mugabe and became pregnant while still married to another man while Sally was on her death-bed.

Mugabe however, claimed in a recent interview with South Africa’s SABC that Sally was aware of the relationship and “accepted it”.

Said the Zanu PF leader: "I did tell her and she just kept quiet and said fine but she did ask, 'Do you still love me?' I said yes. And she said, 'Oh, fine'."

Explaining his decision further, Mugabe said the affair was inspired by practical considerations, adding his mother needed grandchildren.

“Even as Sally was still going through her last few days, although it might have appeared to some as cruel, I said to myself well, it's not just myself needing children, my mother has all the time said, ah, am I going to die without seeing grandchildren?”

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