PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday paid his condolences to the Mutevera family following the death of Mrs Abigail Mutevera, wife to Zimbabwe's first director-general in the President's Office, the late Mr Elias Mutevera.
Mrs Mutevera (81), who was also cousins with Zanu-PF Politburo member Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube, succumbed to a stroke at St Annes Hospital on Wednesday.
In his condolence message President Mugabe described Mrs Mutevera as a loving person.
"I say to you all and the rest of the family that we are very sorry for the loss.
"We pass our sympathies and condolences.
"I know Abigail was a loving person, she had lots of friends, I never saw her angry and was a also a lover of her husband.
"I hope the children will walk in her footsteps," he said.
President Mugabe said he first met the Mutevera family in 1955 when he relocated to Zambia to lecture at a teachers' training college.
He said they became good friends with the late Mr Mutevera who was already staying in Zambia and also a lecturer.
"I got a place to lecture at Chalumba Teacher Training College which was about 10 miles from Lusaka while he (Mr Mutevera) was in Lusaka.
"I would go to Lusaka to visit them during weekends and the girls (Mutevera's children) were young while Abigail was a nurse," he said.
President Mugabe said since he was bachelor then, Mrs Mutevera always advised him when he courted girls.
"Abigail would tell me aah uyu haana kunaka urikungoona kunaka pameso hapana zviripo, tainzwana chaizvo, munhu wandaitaura naye nyaya dzekunyenga vasikana," President Mugabe said.
He said because of their relationship he had found time to pay his respects to the Mutevera family on the sad occasion.
"I said to myself she couldn't be laid to rest without me coming to pay my respects to one who was a greatest friend, one whom I shared a part of my life, one whom I shared secrets and one who is part of my history.
"I will never forget the four years we spent together in Zambia.
"Ukama hwakadaro muchipanana mazano.
"Ukama hwakadaro haungaukanganwi.
"I pray to God that he grants her rest," President Mugabe said.
He said Mrs Mutevera would be accorded a State assisted funeral.
Mrs Mutevera was born in 1932 and is survived by her three daughters. She will be laid to rest at Warren Hills Cemetery on Sunday.