Bona Mugabe

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Bona Mugabe
Born Nyepudzayi Bona Mugabe
(1988-04-18) 18 April 1988 (age 29)
Harare, Zimbabwe
Education Dominican Convent High School
Alma mater City University of Hong Kong
Management Development Institute of Singapore
Spouse(s) Simba Chikore (m. 2014)
Children One
Parent(s) Robert Mugabe
Grace Mugabe

Bona Mugabe (full name: Nyepudzayi Bona Mugabe; born 18 April 1988) is the second child and only daughter of former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and Grace Mugabe, who also have two sons (Chatunga and Robert Jr.).[1] She shares a name with Robert Mugabe's mother.[2]

Education[edit]

Bona Mugabe attended Dominican Convent Primary School.[citation needed] She also attended the Dominican Convent High School in Harare, Zimbabwe.[3]

In 2008, Bona Mugabe was deported from Australia while studying there along with seven other children of senior members of the Mugabe regime. The Australian government said that they did not want the children of those responsible for human rights abuses in Zimbabwe to get an education unavailable to the ordinary Zimbabwean citizen.[4][5] She then enrolled in Autumn 2008 under an alias at the City University of Hong Kong, although initial reports erroneously said she had enrolled at the University of Hong Kong.[5][6][7] Her being in Hong Kong was discovered by media after her mother, Grace Mugabe allegedly assaulted British photojournlalist Richard Jones for taking pictures of her shopping in Tsim Sha Tsui in January 2009.[6] The report prompted Emily Lau Wai-hing, a member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, to request a review of the decision to admit Bona Mugabe.[6]

News of Bona Mugabe studying in Hong Kong reached Zimbabwe at the same time as tuition fee increases, dollarisation of fees, and 400 USD examination fees were announced.[6][8] Protest started on the University of Zimbabwe campus in early February, and over several weeks saw police use tear gas in a failed attempt to stop them reaching downtown Harare. In the end, at least 60 students were arrested.[8] The Zimbabwe National Students Union also delivered a petition to the Chinese embassy in Harare calling on the Chinese government to deport Bona Mugabe so she would be forced to attend a university in her home country. The union also called for the university to expel her even if the government did not deport her.[9]

On 17 February the University of Hong Kong distanced itself from the controversy, denying a report that she was a student there. The school statement said "We do not have a student by the name of Bona Mugabe on our student register, and we do not have any lady student from Zimbabwe who is reading for an undergraduate programme or is at the age of around 20."[10] Subsequent reports clarified that Bona was in fact enrolled in a second school, the City University of Hong Kong,[11] which said she met normal admission requirements and her enrolment was not influenced by her parentage. Due to the attention surrounding Robert Mugabe's daughters her family enlisted the help of a female ex-government official to provide safety and supervision during her time in Hong Kong.[12]

In 2009, Bona Mugabe's bodyguards were accused of assaulting reporters near Bona Mugabe's home in Hong Kong, but no charges were laid.[13][14] In 2011, Bona Mugabe graduated with an honours degree in accounting and administration.[3] Her father attended her graduation ceremony that November while en route to talks in Beijing and praised the Hong Kong government for protecting her from British journalists.[14] She subsequently also earned a master's degree in banking and finance from the Management Development Institute of Singapore.[3]

Career[edit]

In March 2015, while her mother was sick, Bona Mugabe was part of Zimbabwe's official delegation during a state visit to Japan, and sat by her father's side during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe. Her presence was criticized by Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai, the leading opposition party in Zimbabwe as evidence of a Mugabe dynasty.[3]

In May 2017, she was appointed a member of the country's Board of Censors,[15] and as a member of the board of Empower Bank, a proposed microfinance bank run by the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board of Zimbabwe.[16]

In December 2017, The Daily Telegraph reported that Bona Mugabe had hired Chinese builders to construct a manson on state land originally designated for a school by the Harare city council.[17]

Personal life[edit]

In 2014 Bona Mugabe married Simba Chikore, subsequently appointed as chief operating officer at Air Zimbabwe.[18][19][20] The marriage took place at her father Robert Mugabe's private residence in Harare and cost 4.49 million USD.[3] In April 2016, the couple had their first child, a son named Simbanashe Chikore, in a hospital in Singapore. Simbanashe Chikore is also the first grandson of Robert Mugabe.[21]

Chikore resigned from Air Zimbabwe after the 2017 coup d'état.[22] According to the Zimbabwe Independent, Bona Mugabe, her husband, and their son had left the country for Malaysia in the aftermath of her father's resignation, and that she was expecting her second child.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Grace Mugabe brags about 'virgin' daughter Bona". News24. Archived from the original on 2013-10-14. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Post, Jerrold M. (24 November 2011). Narcissism and Politics: Dreams of Glory. Cambridge University Press. p. 91. ISBN 9781107008724. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Keating, Fiona (21 March 2015). "Zimbabwe's next leader: Who is Bona Mugabe-Chikore, Robert Mugabe's possible successor?". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 2 December 2017. 
  4. ^ Mashaya, Blessings (12 August 2017). "I helped Bona Mugabe: Mutsvangwa". Daily News. Retrieved 2 December 2017. 
  5. ^ a b Parry, Simon (26 January 2009). "Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's daughter Bona studying in Hong Kong". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d Parry, Simon (15 February 2009). "Zimbabwean students' union urges HK to deport Bona Mugabe". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 20 February 2009. 
  7. ^ Fraser, Niall (16 November 2017). "The Mugabes and their controversial Hong Kong connection". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
  8. ^ a b Sithole, Chipo (22 February 2017). "Mugabe's daughter in eye of student storm". Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
  9. ^ Parry, Simon (15 February 2009). "Zimbabwean students' union urges HK to deport Bona Mugabe". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2 December 2017. 
  10. ^ "Mugabe's Bona at HK varsity?". News24. 17 February 2009. Retrieved 20 February 2009. 
  11. ^ "非 洲 獨 裁 者 女 兒 是 城 大 生 港 大 擺 烏 龍 澄 清 無 此 人". Hong Kong Apple Daily. Retrieved 17 February 2009. 
  12. ^ "Miss Mugabe in HK?". iafrica.com. 17 February 2009. Retrieved 20 February 2009. 
  13. ^ "Mugabe daughter's bodyguards face prosecution". The Sydney Morning Herald. Deutsche Presse-Agentur. 18 May 2009. Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
  14. ^ a b "Mugabe thanks HK for 'protection'". BBC News. 16 November 2017. Retrieved 2 December 2017. 
  15. ^ Dube, Gibbs (24 May 2017). "Mugabe's Daughter Bona Appointed Member of Censorship Board". VOA. Retrieved 27 November 2017. 
  16. ^ Kuwaza, Kudzai; Ndebele, Hazel (26 May 2017). "Bona gets another top post - The Zimbabwe Independent". The Zimbabwe Independent. Retrieved 2 December 2017. 
  17. ^ Thornycroft, Peta (2017-12-02). "Robert Mugabe's daughter used state land intended for a school for her elaborate, Chinese-built mansion". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2017-12-02. 
  18. ^ "Bona Mugabe husband's plum Air Zimbabwe job saga deepens". The Standard (Zimbabwe). 9 October 2016. 
  19. ^ Mambo, Elias (24 March 2017). "Mugabe son-in-law riles security chiefs". The Independent. Retrieved 2 May 2017. 
  20. ^ Akbar, Jay (21 March 2015). "Is Robert Mugabe planning to name his daughter as his successor? Wife's illness means 24-year-old Bona could replace dictatorship". Daily Mail. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  21. ^ Maramba, Gandri (23 May 2016). "Mugabe Urged to Step Down to Groom Newly-Born Grandson". VOA Zimbabwe. Retrieved 2 December 2017. 
  22. ^ Njisiri, Gift (19 November 2017). "Bona Mugabe's husband quits AirZim". The Standard. Retrieved 2 December 2017. 
  23. ^ Mpofu, Bernard (1 December 2017). "Mugabe's family in disarray after ouster". The Zimbabwe Independent. Retrieved 2 December 2017.