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.
Viewing cable 07HARARE693, FOLLOW-UP ON GRACE MUGABE
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
C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000693
AF/S FOR S.HILL
INR/I FOR RODNEY HUFF
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B.PITTMAN
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/09/2012
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
¶2. (C) Grace Mugabe is not active or well-liked within
ZANU-PF circles and she has no close relationships with
¶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
¶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
¶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.