New Zimbabwe (London)

Zimbabwe: Ex-PM Snubbed, Three Presidents for Bona Wedding

Photo: The Herald
Simba Chikore weds Bona Mugabe.

THREE sitting presidents and three former heads of state have confirmed attending President Robert Mugabe's daughter, Bona while former prime minister and MDC-T Morgan Tsvangirai is not invited.

A top government official confirmed that Mugabe's close friend and top financier of the Zanu PF government, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo Equatorial Guinealeader to join the first family in celebrating Bona's wedding to a pilot, Simba Chikore.

"We have South African president, Jacob Zuma, Zambian President, Michael Sata and Mbasogo attending and three former president of which two of them will be coming from Botswana and one from Ghana," said a government source.

The South African government confirmed Zuma would be attending.

"South Africa and Zimbabwe share common historical and geographical bonds as demonstrated by the strong economic cooperation between the two countries," spokesman Clayson Monyela said in a statement on Friday.

"The economies of the two countries are historically interlinked."

Former Botswana presidents Foetus Mogae and Quett Masire will be at the plush Mugabes' residence alongside Ghana's ex leader, Jerry John Rawlings.

However, Mugabe has snubbed his former workmate and political rival, Tsvangirai at a wedding billed to cost millions of dollars.

Tsvangirai's spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said his boss will spend the weekend at his rural home in Buhera while Mugabe and his foreign friends will be winning and dinning at their private upmarket Borrowdale Brook home.

"We have just buried comrade William Bango at his rural home, and the former prime minister has just proceeded to his rural home where he will spend his weekend with his mother," Tamborinyoka said.

Mbasogo is Mugabe key ally and has made several visits to Harare after Zimbabwe intercepted a group of mercenaries who were on their way to the West African nation to topple the president.

He is said to have financed a number of Mugabe's projects including the presidential input scheme.

Informed family sources said the wedding will last for 18 hours with a Catholic bishop expected to preside over the ceremony.

Former South African president, Thabo Mbeki is not attending the wedding but will be represented by his wife, Zanele.

Over 5,000 guests are expected to grace the occasion where Congolese musician, Koffi Olomide will be one of the top entertainers.

Olomide, a Democratic Republic of Congo national, jetted into the country together with President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday evening as the veteran leader returned from the DRC where he had attended a Comesa summit.

The musician, according to sources, has been invited by First Lady Grace Mugabe, who is said to be a huge fan of rhumba music.

Mugabe, who turned 90 years last Friday, revealed that he was delighted to watch his first and only daughter, wed in his lifetime.

Not welcome ... Former prime minister and opposition MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai

"Considering that I married ... my second marriage when I was in the seventies, I had no hope that I will see my children grow old like this.

"As a family, when you have a child in the family, you will be afraid whether she will succeed or not, you will be taking care from childhood, going to school and now old enough to start a family," he said.

According to invitation cards, which have a security feature to prevent fakes being reproduced, no children are allowed at the presidential fortress and no vehicle will be permitted in the environs of the mansion.

Mugabe's residence is designated as a "protected area" which means access is severely restricted and anyone who strays or is caught taking photographs might land in hot water.

Bulawayo school of hospitality has been engaged to provide catering for the guests while local transporting firms will be transporting visitors from Heritage primary school where they will have to leave their vehicles parked.

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InFocus

Zimbabwe: Mugabe's Daughter Weds

Simba Chikore weds Bona Mugabe.

President Robert Mugabe's daughter, Bona, 24, wed in a lavish ceremony held at the family's private home in Borrowdale. Read more »