Hubby snatcher Grace MuZimbabwe President  Robert Mugabe with his wife Grace Mugabe celebrates his re-election unopposed as the leader of Zanu PF for the next five years during the closing day of the 6th Peoples Congress of Zanu PF in Harare on December 6, 2014. Zimbabwe's ruling party on Saturday wrapped up a key congress once again anointing veteran President Robert Mugabe as party leader and putting his wife Grace on a path to follow him into power. The congress elected his wife 49-year-old Grace to head the party's powerful women's wing, which would put her higher among the contenders to succeed Mugabe. AFP PHOTO/JEKESAI NIJIKIZAMA        (Photo credit should read JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images)gabe
haunted by Sally’s ‘ghost’
FIRST Lady Grace appears to be living in the
shadow of President Robert Mugabe’s first
wife Sally, who died 24 years ago.
Grace — who reports say had an illicit
relationship with Mugabe while Sally lay on
her deathbed before marrying the Zanu PF
leader at a lavish ceremony in 1996 at which
two children were presented — recently laid
bare her fears at a rally in the rural outpost of
Addressing a crowd of predominantly
schoolchildren — who were forced to chant
Zanu PF slogans and sing as well as dance to
ethnic songs — the First Lady revealed she
was angry at people who compared her to
what many regard as Zimbabwe’s version of
“mother of the nation”.
Mugabe later warned people against making
unkind remarks about his wife, saying that
was being disrespectful. He issued the
warning at his birthday party held in
Masvingo last week.
Speaking about her relationship with Mugabe,
Grace said: “If Mugabe was a person of loose
morals, he would have children all over the
place. We have not even begun to talk about
your immoral activities and the children you
have all over the country, but you like to
abuse other people. Mugabe took a second
wife nicely, I got married well,” Grace said,
jerking her head in menacing fashion, eyes
She was not done yet and went on: “I am not
Mugabe’s prostitute, that you can spend time
gossiping about!”
Seen as humble, Sally’s shadow continues to
loom large over Grace and comparisons
between the two dominate social and political
discussion among Zimbabweans.
The First Lady said she has continued to be
abused and compared to Sally — the revered
national heroine. Grace’s lavish lifestyle, the
perception that she has forced Mugabe to stay
in power longer than he would have had Sally
been still alive, continues to dog the First
Lady everywhere she goes.
She is also seen as more sharp-tongued and
has seemingly made more enemies than
friends since joining active politics almost two
years ago. Sally was at one time Zanu PF
women’s league secretary in the politburo, the
same position that Grace now occupies, but
there is no indication she ever abused party
“I am constantly abused. Let me tell you, they
put a picture of Sally there, mine and
Mugabe’s. They say this woman [Grace] has
no morals, no dignity,” said Grace.
In 2014, as hordes of Zanu PF leaders, youth,
women and traditional leaders trudged to her
Mazowe Children’s Home to “show support”
for her nomination to the position of Zanu PF
women’s league in the politburo, Grace
admitted she had customarily married Mugabe
while Sally was alive.
“It did not start today that a man marries two
wives. I will not feel bad about it. Let them
write whatever they want,” said Grace,
drawing comparisons between Mugabe and
South African President Jacob Zuma, who she
said she admired “because he [Zuma] stands
for what he wants.”
Grace was previously married to Stanley
Goreraza — an ex-Air Force pilot-cum-
intelligence officer with whom she sired a son
Russel — before her official marriage to
Mugabe. Mugabe and Grace have three
children — Bona, named after Mugabe’s
mother, Robert Junior and Chatunga
Bellarmine. Bona was born when Sally was
still alive but battling with a kidney problem
before succumbing to the ailment in January
Mugabe claimed in an interview with South
African journalist Dali Tambo that Sally was
aware of his relationship with his former
secretary before she died.
Asked about the affair with Grace, Mugabe
said, “It was not just the fact that one was
attracted [to her].
After Sally was gone it was necessary for me
to look for someone and, 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
“So I decided to make love to her. She
happened to be one of the nearest and she
was a divorcee herself, and so it was. We got
our first child when my mother was still
Asked if he had told Sally about the affair
with Grace, Mugabe said: “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’.”
Sally, from Ghana, became Zimbabwe’s first
heroine to be laid to rest at the national
heroes’ acre, with her death drawing an
outpouring of grief among Zimbabweans
across the political divide.
A senior veteran of the liberation struggle
Francis Zimuto, whose nom de guerre during
the liberation war was Black Jesus, described
Grace as a “young girl with unmotherly
behaviour”, once again drawing comparisons
with Sally.
“We had President Mugabe’s first wife, Sally,
who was very down-to-earth and died like
that. Why is she [Grace] challenging the
powers of our president in public?
“We should not be afraid of her. Tell her that,
‘Mother, go home, sit down and cook for your
husband’. We expect that someone who is the
president’s wife should behave in a motherly
way. When I look at Grace, she is a young
girl, calling her First Lady is not our culture
because she is even younger than me.
Young girl, you got it wrong,” Zimuto told a
meeting in Masvingo recently as tempers
flared over Grace’s unpalatable comments
about war veterans and Vice-President
Emmerson Mnangagwa.
It seems Sally’s huge shadow will continue to
hover over Grace, whose relationship with
Mugabe reportedly inspired the street lingo
“small house”, which means a mistress
“because she used to live in the smaller house
at State House during their early courtship