Grace Mugabe's five-year affair

By Drum Digital
27 October 2010

SECRET sex with her husband’s best friend, stolen moments on a dairy farm and e-mails meant only for her lover’s eyes... not the kind of behaviour anyone would expect of a woman married to the president of a country.

But for the past five years Grace Mugabe has allegedly been cheating on her husband – with a man he considers his most trusted ally and his closest confidante.

News of the affair between the two people closest to him is said to have devastated Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe even though this is not the first time his wife has betrayed him. In fact it’s not even the second – but now she’s cheated with a man said to be key to the ageing president holding on to his position of power.

Gideon Gono (50) not only has control of Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank – he’s the man who manages every detail of Mugabe’s financial life. He has helped him stay in power by providing money to war veterans and to the army that squashes any political rebellion.

Gono’s affair with Grace is embarrassing to Mugabe who, according to reports, had problems with impotence in the past. Some even suggest he condones Grace’s five-year affair because he can’t satisfy a woman 41 years younger than him.

But by most accounts the news of Grace’s affair with Gono has devastated the 86- year-old head of state. And those close to him say it’s just a matter of time before harm befalls his former best friend.

Mugabe learned of the affair in July this year when his sister, Sabina, lay on her deathbed. Sabina had always loathed her sister-in-law and told her brother of Grace’s latest relationship before she died, according to the Sunday Times.

“The story is 100 per cent true,” a Zimbabwean journalist tells DRUM. He doesn’t want to be named because he fears being murdered. “Some reporters knew about it but fear and the media laws in Zimbabwe prevent them from writing about it.”

One man indirectly involved in the saga has already died – poisoned by the president’s men, family and friends insist.

Cain Chademana, one of Mugabe’s most trusted bodyguards, was at his side when Sabina broke the news. He was later summoned to his boss’ office and revealed he’d known all along about the affair. Weeks later he was dead.

And Gono should also fear for his life, our source says. “He’s in serious danger. Everyone linked to Mugabe’s wife is killed. Even his brother, Albert, died in mysterious circumstances after rumours that he had an affair with Mugabe’s first wife, Sally.”

CLAIMS of murder don’t seem as far-fetched if you consider how Grace’s previous lovers were treated when news of them sleeping with her reached the president’s ears.

Peter Pamire perished in a car accident and one of her other lovers, a rich businessman, was practically banished from Zimbabwe after their affair came to light.

Yet Grace, who also has business ties with Gono, always seems to escape punishment and continues to dodge the many controversies that seem to surround her. And she’s flourishing financially while millions of her countrymen starve (Shopping while Zim starves, 17 April 2008).

DisGrace, The First Shopper and Grabbing Grace, as she’s known in Zim, has a finger in several pies all over Zimbabwe. She has shares in a diamond mine that was embroiled in controversy recently for trying to auction 300 000 carats of diamonds without the proper paperwork.

When a whistleblower tried to highlight the corruption involved in the mining deal he was arrested and detained. Although he was released, activists say he was recently arrested again on trumped-up charges.

Read the full article in DRUM of 4 November 2010

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