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Mugabe's sister Sabina dies
29/07/2010 00:00:00
by Lebo Nkatazo
 
Mourned ... Sabina Mugabe died on Thursday morning
 
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PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's 76-year-old sister, Sabina, has died, his son Leo confirmed.
 
Sabina, born on October 14, 1934, had been ill for a long time and was hospitalised at the Avenues Clinic last Friday.

One of only three of the President’s siblings still alive, Sabina died at around 3AM on Thursday morning at the same hospital. The surviving sisters are Bridgette and Regina.

Her eldest son, Leo Mugabe, confirmed her death in a brief telephone interview saying: "Yes, unfortunately it's true."
 
He added that mourners are gathered at her house in Harare’s Eastlea suburb.

The former Zvimba MP was once elected to Parliament at the same time as two of her four children – the former ZIFA chairman Leo and Patrick Zhuwawo.

Her death will come as a major blow to Mugabe, 86, who buried his brother, Donato, only three years ago.

At the burial, Mugabe for the first time spoke about his family in detail. The President revealed that his father, Gabriel Mugabe Matibiri, and his mother, Bona, married in 1918.

The couple’s first child -- Michael -- was born a year later, followed by Raphael in 1922. Raphael died six months later. Robert Mugabe was born in 1924, two years ahead of Donato.

Sabina and Bridgette were born after the boys.

Mugabe revealed his father was deeply upset when Michael died of poisoning in 1934, and he decided to move to Bulawayo. He did not reveal the circumstances of his death.

Mugabe said once in Bulawayo, his father took up jobs as a carpenter and farm labourer before marrying a second wife. He had three children with his new wife, although two -- David and Albert -- have since died. Regina Gata is the survivor.

The President revealed his father returned to the family in 1944 before dying a year later.

"He came back on the eve of his death. Of all the fathers who went to Bulawayo, there was no one who was as wise as my father," the President said in 2007.

Mugabe said his father had brought a lot of livestock back to Zvimba.



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