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Mugabe unwittingly reveal intricate relations

by Staff reporter
24 Jan 2014 at 08:40hrs | Views
President Robert Mugabe this week unwittingly let the world into his rather well guarded socio-political life.

In a eulogy at the burial of his sister  Bridget, who passed on  after almost four years in a coma, on Tuesday Mugabe spoke of his childhood friendships and relationships that are still discernible today if one takes a look at his inner circle.

"When I left Kutama in 1944, I went to Dadaya, but ended up teaching at a new secondary school known as Mapanzure (in the Midlands mining town of Zvishavane).

"I was only 20 and a young man. I met Emmerson Mnangagwa's uncle and they asked me to stay with him.

"He said I could not stay alone at my age.

"I also met Misheck Sibanda's father, the chief secretary to cabinet. Mishek's father had trained as a carpenter like my father," Mugabe said.

In his early days of leading the former liberation movement into the bush war that brought independence to Zimbabwe, Mugabe incorporated the young Mnangagwa into the Zanu War Council (Dare ReChimurenga) as Special Assistant to the President.

Mnangagwa was the only member of the Dare who did not have a specific role or portfolio in a group that also comprised revered military commander and national hero Josiah Magama Tongogara as secretary for Defence, then national chairman, the enigmatic Herbert Chitepo, Rugare Gumbo, Kumbirai Kangai, Edgar Tekere, Kudzai Mudzi, Henry Hamadziripi, Noel Mukono and John Mataure.

The only surviving members are Mugabe, Mnangagwa and Gumbo.

Mugabe also claimed he was, to an extent, related to Minister responsible for Matabeleland North Cain Mathema.

"When my father left home in 1934 following the death of Michael (his elder brother) on suspected poisoning he went to Bulawayo in anger.

"There he met beautiful Ndebele girls and got married to one of them from Tsholotsho.

"She was a relative of Mathema (Cain), you know, we are related in a way," said Mugabe to laughter.

Mugabe's half-sister from his father's second marriage, Regina, is married to former Zesa executive chairman Sidney Gata.

The President also told hundreds of mourners that the late Bridget could not fend for herself and ended up staying with him at State House.

"She had brilliant ideas, but they remained as such, ideas, unlike Sabina (his other sibling also late) who was more practical and bought herself a house.

"Bridget told me she had no money," Mugabe said.

Mugabe also revealed that his other family names were Matibiri and Karigamombe. Karigamombe is the name given to one of Harare's upmarket office complex. Former Zapu leader and Mugabe's deputy in government after the 1987 Unity Accord Joshua Nkomo's statue was to be erected adjacent Karigamombe Centre before his family objected.

Karigamobe is a Shona word for "he who fells the bull by its horns" â€" a metaphor which the family said was a "mockery and insult" to Nkomo's Zapu party which used a charging bull as its symbol.

Another of Mugabe's relatives, Innocent Matibiri is a deputy commissioner in the police force, Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa, according to unconfirmed reports, is Mugabe's nephew, while Zimbabwe's long-time leader is also related to Zanu PF's former provincial chairman Philip Chiyangwa.

Mugabe is also reportedly close to Local government minister Ignatius Chombo, Zvimba East legislator Francis Mukwangwariwa, his nephews  Patrick Zhuwawo and Leo Mugabe, former ZIFA boss, among a host of his close relations in influential business and political positions in the country.

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Source - zimmail