Grace Mugabe is our daughter says Shurugwi family

A Shurugwi family says Grace Mugabe must trace her roots to them as her biological father, with whom she hardly stayed, is one of them.

Grace Mugabe
Grace Mugabe

A senior member of the Mugumba family in Shurugwi North’s Ward 12 told The Zimbabwean his brother Morgan, born in 1934, had a child with Grace’s mother but the two divorced while Grace was still an infant.

The mother reportedly went to live in Lalapanzi, a farming settlement near Gweru in the Midlands, where she subsequently married another man.

“The two (Grace’s mother and Morgan) had problems that started when the wife was still pregnant and she left him immediately after giving birth. Morgan was then a shop assistant in Shurugwi,” said the Mugumba elder.

Other family members and elders from nearby villages interviewed during a recent funeral in Shurugwi also testified that Morgan was Grace’s father, but were not sure what problems led to the two’s separation.

“He (Morgan) has not been open about the divorce and it seems it is something that bothered him. However, he has in the past made attempts to reconnect with Grace, but we are not sure what happened. When she married that soldier, he did not receive any lobola but our culture says his in-laws should at least have sought his blessings,” said another family member.

There were disagreements among Mugumba family member, however, on whether Morgan deserved recognition from Grace, considering that he hardly looked after her.

“Grace is of the Zhou (Elephant) totem, which is our totem and in our ways, she needs to come back to him no matter how badly he treated her. Even if she doesn’t have to give him money, it is required by our culture that she acknowledges the fact that her blood is Zhou blood and that can’t be wished away,” said another Mugumba member.

“She might be bitter with Morgan and her mother might also have been angry that he did not give his daughter love, but that is common and we have married so many daughters who came looking for their fathers even though their fathers had rejected them,” he added.

Morgan, who now lives in Mkoba in the Midlands capital Gweru, could not be located for an interview. Grace never used the Mugumba name, but Marufu – her maternal surname.

The Mugumba family members said the First Lady went to live at the Marufu farm in Chivhu sometime after her mother married the “coloured” (mixed blood) man from Lalapanzi.

Grace’s first marriage was to Stanley Goreraza, formerly an Air Force of Zimbabwe pilot, and they had one son, Russell. She married President Robert Mugabe in 1996 and they have two sons, Robert and Chatunga, and a married daughter, Bona. During both marriages, the husbands engaged the Marufu family.

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