Former Mozambican First Lady Graca Machel’s enmity towards former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was allegedly more motivated by his refusal to marry her than outrage over his handling of Zimbabwean affairs, a United States intelligence document says.
Her service as one of The Elders, a group of elder statesmen, gave her the perfect opportunity to get her revenge, the document says.
Graca Machel was married to Mozambique’s first President Samora Machel from 1975 to 1986 when he died in a plane crash in South Africa.
Mugabe was married to Sally at the time but she died in January 1992.
Mugabe, however, already had an affair with Grace Marufu who at the time was married to Stanley Goreraza.
Mugabe and Grace had two children before Sally’s death- Bona and Robert Junior.
Grace had a child with Goreraza, Russell, in 1984 when she was only 19.
According to the intelligence document Graca Machel’s hatred for Mugabe came from his refusal to marry her when he was asked.
The document does not state when Mugabe was asked to marry Graca but says “conversations took place several years ago among regional leaders on what to do with Graca”.
“Graca, as the deceased Mozambican President Samora (Machel’s) widow, was considered the most important widow in the region and it was considered an obligation that someone at her level take her on,” it says.
“Regional leaders originally proposed that Mugabe marry her, but Mugabe adamantly refused and made disparaging remarks about her that made it to Graca.
“Since then Graca had it for Mugabe and her service as one of The Elders, and the Zimbabwean government’s refusal to grant The Elders permission to visit Zimbabwe gave her the perfect opportunity to get her revenge,” the document says.
The document says after Mugabe turned down Graca, the regional leaders approached the then South African President Nelson Mandela, “who begrudging(ly) accepted the proposal”.
“Mandela was not keen on the idea, but acquiesced due to a sense of obligation,” it says.
Mandela married Graca in July 1998 two years after Mugabe had officially married Grace.
The Elders group was formed by Mandela in 2007.
Below is the US intelligence document on Graca Machel and Mugabe