Today, Pamela Jo found this interesting article on Robert Mugabe in The Daily Post. Here’s the story – possibly false, but with a whiff of truth – no Zanu-PF spokesman will tell you about his boss, Robert Mugabe. Back in 1958, when he was teaching in Ghana, Mugabe met fellow teacher and Ghanaian national Sally Hayfron and fell in love. He took Sally back to what was then Rhodesia, and the couple were married in St Peter’s Catholic Church in Harare.
Many difficult years later, Mugabe became President of newly independent Zimbabwe, and the couple moved into Harare’s majestic State House. Before long Mugabe took measures that echoed those of dictators all over the world. He robbed the national exchequer, and opened a bank account in Switzerland with the proceeds – some millions of dollars, apparently. However, anxious to avoid exposure by the western press, he cunningly put the account in Sally’s name.
Sally died of kidney failure in 1992 – a lasting pity because she had been a restraining influence on the man. But it left him free to marry his South African mistress, Grace. Then, naturally enough, he moved to take control of Sally’s Swiss account. But no. It was explained to him that under Ghanaian law the property of a wife goes, on her death, to her family. Not to her husband.
Sally’s Ghanaian relatives got the lot. Mugabe is said to have broken every window in State House.
Today, we’re back on the story of Sally Francesca Hayfron Mugabe, the first wife of Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe. The more I read about Sally, the more I adore her. I think she would have been an amazing person to know. Almost everything you read says she was a tempering influence on him. When she was alive and in his life, she could settle him down, make him be more reasonable, mitigate much of the vindictive anger that he used against others. Her love calmed him, sweetened him.
She was born into a powerful and political family in Ghana. She was a good student, loved politics and trained to be a teacher in Ghana. Sally was in her formative teen years during the period that Ghana struggled to separate from Britain. She was 24 years old in 1957, the year Ghana gained its independence. In 1958, she became entranced with the young man from Rhodesia who taught African history at the famous Achimoto School. Founded in 1927, the Achimoto School was famous for its all-inclusive philosophy, teaching boys and girls, blacks and whites in the same way, at the same time, from the beginning. The young Mugabe shared his frustration at his country’s subservience to Britain. He wanted to bring freedom to his people. Sally became his most ardent supporter. They were married in 1961.
During the next 20 years, they helped lead Rhodesia to become the independent nation of Zimbabwe (1980), they both endure imprisonment for political reasons, they lost their only son to malaria, Sally came to known as Amai (mother) for her work in Zimbabwe, Robert started an affair (and later married) Grace Marufu.