My father abandoned me – Robert Mugabe

2014-01-23 13:20

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has reportedly revealed a “painful” past of abandonment by his father that led him to fend for his mother and siblings at the age of 21.

The veteran leader made the revelations at the recent burial of his last surviving sister, Bridget, who died on Sunday after almost four years in a coma.

The Daily News reported that Mugabe, who spoke for 67 minutes, told mourners at his sister’s burial that his father had left the family in 1934 after the death of his eldest brother, Michael.

Mugabe’s father went to live in Bulawayo where he remarried and started a new family. He never communicated with his son which made Mugabe write a letter to him expressing his displeasure. But his uncles reprimanded him, saying that he was being disrespectful. Mugabe was forced to apologise.

Mugabe’s father had two sons with the second wife and only returned home shortly before his death.

Mugabe claimed he loved his half-siblings saying that his mother took them in as her own children after his father’s death.

The Zanu-PF leader, who turns 90 next month, told mourners he had no secret to longevity.

A report said Mugabe also sprinkled his speech with anecdotes about his fondness for British history and tradition, joking that he still measured distances in miles, unlike most Zimbabweans who use kilometres.

“I am very British, you know. I am English again, don’t forget,” he told mourners.

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