An 88-year old man who publicly claimed to have fathered former First Lady Grace Mugabe has died.
According to reports from Gweru, the deceased Morgan Mugumba who succumbed to Covid-19 complications was buried at Mkoba Cemetery on Thursday last week.
In 2014, Mugumba got Zimbabweans talking after he claimed that the former First Lady was one of his daughters from a failed marriage. Mugumba said he and Grace’s mother divorced while she was still an infant.
After their divorce, Mugumba said, Grace’s mother went to live in Lalapanzi, a farming settlement near Gweru in the Midlands Province, where she subsequently married another man.
“(We) had marital problems that started when my wife was still pregnant and she left immediately after giving birth. At the time I was a shop assistant in Shurugwi,” Mugumba was quoted as saying, eight years back.
While confirming Morgan’s death to a local newspaper, The Sun, family members said the deceased complained of flu-like symptoms.
Other family members confimred that the late Mugumba was indeed, Grace’s father.
“He (Mugumba) 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 (Stanley Goreraza), he did not receive any lobola but our culture says his in-laws should at least have sought his blessings,” a family member told The Sun.
“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 family member.
“She might be bitter with Mugumba 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”.
Grace never used the Mugumba name, but Marufu, her maternal surname.
The Mugumba family members said the former First Lady went to live at the Marufu farm in Chivhu sometime after her mother married the “colored” (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.
In 1996, she then married late president Robert Mugabe and together, they had three sons namely Bona, Robert Jnr and Chatunga Bellarmine.