My dad abandoned me, says Mugabe
23 January 2014, 16:49
Cape Town - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has reportedly revealed a “painful" past of abandonment by his father that led him to fend for his mother and siblings at the tender age of 21.
The veteran leader made the revelations at the recent burial of his last surviving sister Bridget, who died on Sunday after almost four years in a coma.
According to the Daily News, Mugabe who spoke for 67 minutes, told mourners gathered at his sister’s burial that his father left the family in 1934 after the death of his eldest brother Michael.
Mugabe’s father went to stay in Bulawayo where he remarried and started a new family. He never communicated and this propelled Mugabe to write a letter to him expressing his displeasure. But his uncles reprimanded him saying he was being disrespectful. Mugabe was forced to apologise.
Mugabe’s father had two sons with the second wife and only returned home shortly before his death.
Mugabe claimed he loved his half-siblings adding his mother took them in as her own children following the death of his father.
The Zanu-PF leader, who turns 90 next month, told mourners he had no secret to longevity.
A newzimbabwe.com report said Mugabe also sprinkled his speech with anecdotes about his fondness for British history and tradition, joking that he still measured distance in miles, unlike most Zimbabweans who use kilometres.
"I am very British, you know. I am English again, don't forget," he told mourners.