Mugabe furious at claims wife had affair
Published 27/10/2010 | 05:00
Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president, is "ready to go to war" to silence allegations that his wife Grace cheated on him.
Sources close to the 86-year-old president say he is livid about the claims that Mrs Mugabe, who is 41 years his junior, had a five-year affair with Gideon Gono, one of his closest friends and the head of Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank.
Mr Mugabe is due to convene an emergency meeting with senior aides and Dr Gono today and could take legal action to silence the rumours.
The president's spokesman denied suggestions that Dr Gono had gone into hiding. Mrs Mugabe is said to be "extremely upset" and has left Zimbabwe to stay at the family's home in Hong Kong, where their daughter Bona attends university.
She and Dr Gono, who is married, were alleged to have met up to three times a month at her farm, friends' houses or at hotels in South Africa and Malaysia, and to have intended to set up home together after Mr Mugabe died.
Mr Mugabe was said to have been "devastated" when he learned of the allegations from his sister Sabina, shortly before she died three months ago.
Peter Pamire, a man previously alleged to have had an affair with Mrs Mugabe, died in mysterious circumstances. James Makamba, a businessman, fled to Britain apparently fearing the same fate.
Mr and Mrs Mugabe married in 1996. She was a typist in the president's office and the couple began their affair when he was still married to his terminally ill wife Sally.
Dr Gono could not be reached for comment yesterday, although staff insisted he had turned up for work. A source close to the Mugabes and Dr Gono told the website 'New Zimbabwe' that they were planning a joint fightback.
"There is a major meeting planned which will be attended by lawyers and advisers to the president and Gono," she said.
Another source said: "Dr Gono is a very trusted individual who had been allowed more than any other person access to the family.
"Gideon Gono needs to get this sorted and needs to clear this very fast to restore the trust of the president." (© Daily Telegraph, London)