The US embassy’s assessment of Grace Mugabe

First Lady Grace Mugabe is not active in politics. She is not well liked in the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front. She has no close relationship with any cabinet ministers. She has very few friends even within the Mugabe family.

This was the assessment of Zimbabwe’s First Lady by the United States embassy in Harare in a diplomatic cable entitled: Follow up on Grace Mugabe which was dispatched in August 2007.

“We believe Grace has little or no political influence over her husband. She is concerned about her children and would seek to influence the president to act in ways that would benefit or protect them,” the cable says.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 07HARARE693, FOLLOW-UP ON GRACE MUGABE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

07HARARE693

2007-08-03 09:06

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO0267

RR RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0693 2150906

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 030906Z AUG 07

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1755

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000693

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S.HILL

INR/I FOR RODNEY HUFF

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B.PITTMAN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/09/2012

TAGS: PINR ZI

SUBJECT: FOLLOW-UP ON GRACE MUGABE

 

REF: SECSTATE 92101

 

Classified By: Pol/Econ Chief Glenn Warren under 1.4 (c)

 

1. (C) This message responds to INR/I questions on Grace

Mugabe.

 

2. (C) Grace Mugabe is not active or well-liked within

ZANU-PF circles and she has no close relationships with

cabinet members.

 

3. (C) Grace's relationship with President Mugabe appears

stable at this time. In the past she was rumored to have had

affairs, but there are no recent rumors. Within the last

year, it was rumored (unconfirmed) she had fled to East Asia

and that her husband traveled there to convince her to return

to Zimbabwe. She does not attend political meetings, but

sometimes attends ceremonial events such as the recent

opening of Parliament. The president appears to treat her

correctly in public.

 

4. (C) Grace leaves the country infrequently; we are aware

only of public travel with her husband, usually to Malaysia

and Singapore. She is planning to travel to New York for the

UNGA. Within the country, she is an active farmer and

travels frequently to her farm.

 

5. (C) Grace has few friends, even within the Mugabe family.

Several years ago, she was rumored to have had an affair

with James Makamba, a business associate of Solomon Mujuru.

Makamba was arrested and charged with corruption; upon his

release he fled to the UK where he now lives. Grace is

reportedly close to Makamba's wife, Irene, who lives in

Harare.

 

6. (C) Grace's primary personal interest appears to be

shopping; she reportedly spends large amounts of forex on her

infrequent trips to Asia. In Zimbabwe, she makes

contributions to women's cooperatives.

 

7. (C) We are unaware of relationships with other first

ladies.

 

8. (C) We believe Grace has little or no political influence

over her husband. She is concerned about her children and

would seek to influence the president to act in ways that

would benefit or protect them.

DHANANI

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