One of the driving forces behind last week’s military intervention, was the prevention of Mugabe’s unpopular second wife, Grace, from replacing him as leader. Zimbabweans hold a special contempt for so-called “Gucci Grace”, who is known for her lavish spending, and has been accused of looting the country’s lucrative natural resources.
But Grace isn’t the only member of the “Zimbabwean royal family,” who has played a part. The excesses of Mugabe’s children are also a national sore point.
Here’s what you need to know about them…
Chatunga Bellarmine Mugabe
At 21-years-old, Chatunga is the youngest of Robert and Grace’s three children. Before the coup, he enjoyed a lavish lifestyle in South Africa, regularly boasting about nights out and expensive purchases on his Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat accounts.
Earlier this month, Chatunga shared a picture of a new watch accompanied with the caption, “$60,000 on the wrist when your daddy run the whole country ya know!!!”
Hours later he posted a video on Snapchat that appeared to show him dousing the watch in Armand de Brignac Champagne, which costs around £200 a bottle.
But, changing the normal tone of his Facebook posts, Chatunga jumped to his 93-year-old father’s defence on Sunday.
“You can’t fire a Revolutionary leader! Zanu PF is nothing without President Mugabe,” he said in a status. “Gushungo will always remain the champion of champions! Proud of you Gushungo, proud of Dad. Gushungo always forever to death.” Gushungo is a nickname the people of Zimbabwe use for Mugabe.
He followed this post with another that said: “We all grow up in life and take up our responsibility to serve our country. We all have a responsibility to keep this country safe and guard our sovereignty.”
The post was accompanied by a serious picture of Chatunga.
Robert Mugabe Jr
The 25-year-old Robert Mugabe Junior was also living in South Africa, with his brother Chatunga, when the military detained their father. Their current whereabouts remains unknown. According to some reports, the brothers have returned to South Africa, with some suggesting they have holed up in a mansion in a smart Johannesburg neighbourhood.
Either way, it is unlikely they will be seen in a nightclub in the immediate future.
Robert Junior is less active on social media than Chatunga and, in May, he posted a lengthy message criticising people who had trolled him online.
“It is tough to be the first son of the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe. I have had people inboxing me on Facebook saying my mum is a b—- and that my father is a dictator, but whatever you say or think, it would be complete madness to think that I will stop loving my parents,” he said.
“I love and respect my father. He is the best dad in the entire world and I thank God I still have him. For those who wish him bad health and death, shame on you!”
Mugabe and Grace’s daughter, Bona, 27, has a much lower profile than her brothers, with no known Twitter account and a private Instagram profile.
Yet Zimbabwe’s ‘first daughter’ is a controversial figure. In 2009, she was the subject of a scandal in 2009, when news of her studying at a Hong Kong university prompted protests at the University of Zimbabwe, as students demanded she return home to study in the same conditions they had to endure. Thirty people were left needing medical treatment.
Like her mother, Bona has been the subject of whispers that she was ‘in training’ to take over power from her father.
In 2015, Bona was reportedly put in charge of the family’s Gushungo Dairies business, which was heavily in debt. And, in May this year, she was appointed to sit on the national censorship board.
Some have called her the country’s answer to Ivanka Trump. Certainly, her wedding to Simba Chikore, in 2014 and which was shown on TV via the state broadcaster, is the closest thing Zimbabwe has had to a royal wedding.
Look at Bona Mugabe practicing to take over her father's duties. pic.twitter.com/6iJtsL8owo
— Prophet Cynic (@CynicHarare) October 5, 2017
She was also heavily criticised in 2016, when she reportedly flew to Singapore to give birth to the couple’s son, rather than choosing to use the nation’s own health service.
Russell Goreraza, 33 – a son from Grace’s first marriage to Stanley Goreraza, and half brother to Robert, Bona and Chatunga – is also known as a spendthrift. He provoked criticism as recently as September, when he imported two Rolls-Royce limousines, worth around £4 million, into poverty stricken Zimbabwe.
In 2015, Goreraza was found guilty of culpable homicide, after he knocked down and killed a pedestrian – a crime for which he was fined after having ‘shown remorse’. There was widespread shock that he had not been given a jail sentence.
Goreraza’s company reportedly bought the £2.3 million mansion that Robert and Chatunga may currently be holed up in.
Robert Mugabe’s first child, Michael Nhamodzenyika, was born to his first wife, Sally, in 1963. He died of cerebral malaria when he was three, when his father was a political prisoner. Sally died from kidney failure in 1992.
Source: The telegraph
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