Robert Mugabe’s stepson Russell Goreraza got married to Gladys Chiwaya on Saturday at a colourful ceremony in Harare.
The longtime ruler gave his wife’s first born $US20,000.
Russell Goreraza is Grace Mugabe’s son from her first marriage to an Air Force officer. Very little publicity in Zimbabwe is given to Russel, who is much older than Grace’s children with President Robert Mugabe.
His father Staney Goreraza was a former Intelligence officer at the Airforce’s Intelligence Directorate, and contrary to wild reports in the media, Stanley was not a pilot.
A sources in the inner circle of the First Family and the President’s close security confirmed to our reporter that Russel’s father jetted into the country sometime last week but he was asked by intelligence officials to play a low profile and not to attend the main event at RainTree, in the outlying upmarket suburb of Umwinsidale.
Mr Goreraza was also asked to handover his son’s wedding gifts at a private family ceremony.
Wing Commander Stanley Goreraza is a senior officer in the Air Force of Zimbabwe and the current defence attaché at the Zimbabwean embassy in China.
Goreraza was formerly married to Grace Marufu, then secretary to and now the wife of Robert Mugabe. The couple had one child, a son, Russell Goreraza, who now manages his mother’s extensive farm property, Gushungo Dairy Estate.
In 1995, the fact that Goreraza’s then wife (Grace) had had two children by the Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe became public. Between 1995 and 1996, Grace and Stanley Goreraza divorced and Grace married Robert Mugabe in 1996.
By 2000, Goreraza was studying in China and he was due to return to Zimbabwe in late 2000. The following January, Goreraza was appointed as Zimbabwe’s defence attaché to China. It was also in 2001 that Goreraza was hospitalized in China and visited by Robert and Grace Mugabe.
In 2006, Goreraza was honoured for his long service in the Air Force of Zimbabwe, receiving a bar to his long and exemplary service medal
Those that attended yesterday’s ceremony included Zanu-PF chairman, Simon Khaya Moyo, central bank governor Gideon Gono, foreign Affairs Minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, deputy minister Mike Bimha and minister in the President’s office, Didymus Mutasa.
Oliver Mtukudzi, backed by the Police Band, and urban groover Roki provided entertainment.
Grace Mugabe sang amazing grace and praised the president for helping her raise Russell.
“I’m a grateful wife,” she told the 86-year-old.
Grace Mugabe said she was delighted to be a mother in law and thanked her husband for helping raise Russell.
“I would like to thank Baba VaMugabe for helping me raise this child,” she said. “I know you know that I am a grateful wife,” she said.
She welcomed her daughter-in-law into the family and warned her son against domestic violence.
“Do not turn this girl into a punching bag,” she said. “Gladys is your life partner and you should teach each other.”
President Mugabe also praised Gladys saying she was a well groomed young lady.
“She (Gladys) showed us that she is a well-cultured woman. Some would have shown traits of Western culture,” said Mugabe. “Everywhere we go — Zambia, Tanzania and Malawi — culture is followed.”
He also expressed concern over the increasing incidents of divorce and their impact on spreading HIV/AIDS in the country.
“The incidents of divorce are alarming,” he said. “They are disintegrating the families. It leaves the burden on the grandparents.”
Mugabe handed over $US20,000 to the newly-weds and told them to guard against divorce, while Grace presented the couple with 20 cows possibly from her Gushungo dairy farm in Mazowe.
As secretary to the president, Grace became his mistress and together they had two children, Bona, named for Mugabe’s mother, and Robert Peter, Jr
The couple were married in an extravagant Catholic Mass, titled the "Wedding of the Century" by the Zimbabwe press, after the death of Mr. Mugabe’s first wife, Sally Hayfron.
In 1997, Grace Mugabe gave birth to the couple’s third child, Chatunga. Grace is popularly known in Zimbabwe as "Dis Grace", a reference to her extravagant life-style while maintaining political responsibilities as first lady.