PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe and First Lady, Grace yesterday hosted a lavish wedding for their daughter, Bona at their Borrowdale Brooke mansion.
Bona tied the knot with her husband Simba Chikore, a pilot, in front of over 4 000 guests, among them three heads of state, family, friends and other dignitaries from all over southern Africa.
The well-choreographed and colourful event earned its place in the country's history and it went without a glitch, judging by what The Standard observed on the ZBC live broadcast. The Standard was barred from covering the event.
Attended by several local and foreign dignitaries, among them South Africa President Jacob Zuma, Zambia's Michael Sata and his wife Joyce and Equatorial Guinea Head of State Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the event was expected to last until early this morning.
The ceremony was officiated by Roman Catholic vicar-general Father Kennedy Muguti who impressed upon the young couple to be faithful to each other.
The vicar-general could not hide his admiration of the young man who braved the tight security in pursuit of the love of his life.
"You are very daring young man, to go through all the security," he said, much to the amusement of the crowd.
A smiling Bona looked breathtaking in a hugging white gown which gently flared at the hem with a flowing train. She arrived at the venue accompanied by her proud parents President Robert Mugabe and First Lady Grace Mugabe, who was also decked out in a fine ensemble of deep purple, in line with the colour theme.
Equally looking regal was the groom, Chikore whose fabulous ivory gold jacket sat well on his well-built shoulders. Looking serene and very composed, the groom walked down the aisle accompanied by his groomsmen who looked divine in their well cut suits.
His parents were also looking dashing, his father in a well cut suit and his mother in a shimmering outfit fit for a queen.
The venue was decorated in the loveliest shades of purple, ranging from lighter shades like lilac to deeper hues of violet. There were also warm red tones which gently blended with the scene.
The deputy minister of information Supa Mandiwanzira co- hosted the event with one Lorraine Mogoya.
The highlight however, was when the couple exchanged vows. After saying the traditional words which were drawn from a book, the two love birds took turns to show off their poetic prowess by reading out their own vows that they had written to each other.
Bona was almost in tears when Chikore poured out his heart in a description of his love for the First daughter.
With a clearly natural flair for the queen's language, Chikore described how Bona's big eyes had a huge effect on him and that she was the only one who had captured his heart.
"I will protect and love you always. I love you beyond my heart," he said.
In return Bona did not disappoint either as she solemnly declared to match his love.
"I'm not an open book to many people, but with you I share my everything," she said.
Meanwhile, security at the event was tight and most media houses were barred from attending the event at which cameras and use of cellphones was prohibited.
Police officers maintained a heavy presence at intersections along Borrowdale Road.
The Standard observed that new carriage markings had been made from the intersection of Josiah Tongogara and Seventh Street up to State House.
Along Crowhill Road, a convoy of top-of-the-range vehicles stretched from Phillip Chiyangwa's abandoned hotel project up to Heritage School as guests waited patiently to leave their cars and get a seat aboard one of the many shuttle buses to the Blue Roof.
Police officers were also manning the car park ensuring that all cars found parking at the school.
Top-of-the-range vehicles that included Mercedes Benz, Range Rovers and Jaguars, among others, were some of the toys seen cruising towards Heritage School.
New Zupco buses were seen ferrying guests to the wedding venue.
On Friday, The Standard sought an explanation from the family on why the paper was barred from covering the event.
A spokesperson from the Chikore family who declined to give his first name said The Standard was not one of the newspapers that he was going to invite to cover the wedding.
"I am not accrediting you. I am accrediting only The Herald, the Sunday Mail and ZBC," he said. "This is a private family event where two young people are getting married. It is not a public event, or a State function. The people involved are private individuals who are not politicians and we don't want to attract unnecessary hype by inviting you to this private function".
Asked why there seemed to be selective invitation of media houses, the spokesperson said he was not obliged to explain.
"I am sorry I cannot discuss anything more about this issue with you because that will not change my mind. I still will not accredit you," he said.