An ecstatic President Mugabe finally met face-to-face with his grandson, Simbanashe Chikore in Singapore at the weekend.
The baby was born mid last month, but the President could not see the new arrival earlier because of a busy schedule at home, only managing to travel on Saturday morning.
The President revealed last week while addressing members of the Gutu clan in Masvingo that he was now a grandfather after his only daughter, Mrs Bona Chikore, gave birth to a baby boy outside the country last month.
President Mugabe had gone to Masvingo to convey his condolences to the Gutu family following the death of his uncle, Chief Gutu, Mr Anos Kasirai Masanganise.
The President was explaining why his wife, First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe, had not accompanied him to the event as she was attending to the grandson.
Mrs Chikore and her husband, Mr Simba Chikore, wed on March 1 2014 at a colourful ceremony in Harare.
The glittering event was attended by several Heads of State and Government, with top African musician Kofi Olomide providing entertainment.
Our sister paper The Sunday Mail reported yesterday that Bona was only three years old when President Mugabe bought her school uniform at British retailer Marks and Spencer.
He taught her basic English, with words like “bridge” and “river” featuring in that vocabulary, but he soon postponed that pursuit after she pronounced “railway” as “laiway”!
Many remember this snippet from President Mugabe’s 90th birthday ZTV interview as he recounted his daughter Bona’s formative years.
“Well, I got married when I was in my 70s,” President Mugabe began, “and I said if I can only see her through the second grade — fine.”
He then revealed his anxieties: “Zvino ndaida kuti gore rimhanyise zvikuru kuru, akurumidze kuenda kuchikoro . . . I never thought I was going to live to see my daughter getting married.”
And so President Mugabe lived to see Miss Bona Ouma Mugabe exchange nuptials with Mr Simba Chikore on March 1, 2014 in Harare.
The couple gave him a grandson about a month ago, and he could not have envisaged a better gift.
First was Bona, followed by the boys — Robert Jnr and Bellarmine — then Bona’s marvellous wedding and now a grandson.
President Mugabe broke the news in Gutu where his cultural grounding could not escape attention.
In many African cultures, announcements like a death or birth in the family are accorded ample importance. As such, the elders should be informed formally. (They hardly bat an eyelid if the news reaches their ears via other means.)
It was thus telling that President Mugabe travelled to Gutu to pay his condolences following the death of his uncle Chief Gutu. It was also telling that he told the nation of the new arrival in the presence of his uncles — the family elders.
President Mugabe’s sister, Dr Regina Gata, was ecstatic when The Sunday Mail caught up with her.
“The Mugabe family is celebrating as we speak. We have been blessed and are very thankful. My brother has always loved children, and the birth of his grandson has definitely given him a lot of happiness.
“He has always had a special type of love for his sisters’ children whom he put through school and wrote letters to even when he was in detention.
“He would always ask about their well-being and how they were doing in school. Now he has a muzukuru by his own child. This is very special to him. He always prayed that he would live to see this day.”
Mr Robert Zhuwao, one of President Mugabe’s nephews, chipped in: “To us, the birth of Sekuru’s grandson confirms his legacy. It is a blessing as he has lived to see his family grow further.
“Our family has been enriched by this birth. Apart from us, his sisters’ children, he now has a grandson whose arrival we are all celebrating.”