DisGrace Mugabe tells her side of the Gideon Gono story
HELLO! My name is Grace Mugabe, first lady and loving wife of one of Africa's longest serving democratic presidents, Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
I realise I am a favourite target for South African newspapers. It is a pity my husband's government has had to shut down some Zimbabwean newspapers because they did not appreciate the true value of my news-worthiness and instead focused on banal things like corruption, freedom of speech, violence and our economy - or what's left of it.
One of South Africa's Sunday newspapers reported that I was cheating on my husband and having an affair with his right-hand man, the gorgeous, virile, sexy and, oh, so smart Gideon Gono. Yes I am salivating but that does not mean I am having an affair with him.
I might or might not be doing hanky-panky with Gono, but I have lived long enough to know that once you get accused of being a woman of easy virtue, there is simply nothing you can do to defend yourself.
But to those who think I am cheating on my dear benevolent husband, consider the following before you judge me.
I am a hot-blooded 45-year-old woman with expensive tastes.
I also, contrary to popular belief, have a brain that I put to great use as chief typist for my husband, who at that time was not my husband but someone's else's husband and the father of my children. I'm not sure but this might explain why I am called "disgrace".
My mind boggles at how archaic and stupid some people are. Since when is having children with someone's husband a crime?
The fact that dear Sally was battling old age and a terminal illness at that time does not mean Bob and I must defy God's own instruction to "be fruitful and multiply!"
The life of a first lady can be very lonely and cold. Gucci, Ferragamo, Ralph Lauren, Versace, Yves Saint Laurent and Valentino can only bring temporary joy to my heart. I need strong arms to hold me, a comforting voice to soothe me when the poverty around me gets me down and of course Eros, the god of sex to fulfill my "other" needs. Now, take a look at Gono and then look at my husband. Which of the two do you think meets these basic requirements?
Also, put yourself in my shoes. As a 45-year-old I still have my life ahead of me, so what am I supposed to do while my husband is ageing?
Besides, if I am having an affair, I can assure you it would be a temporary arrangement while my dear husband finds solutions for his expiring prostate, that's all!
It is a pity other first ladies will not be bold enough to back me up on the loneliness of being a first lady. Most of them would be too timid and afraid to confirm the long hours of their husband's absences and the limitations of our kind of life.
Unlike some couples, we cannot just stop and kiss in public, we can't hold hands and go out on a date. Oh, and the pain of raising children alone, while your husband gallivants, solving the problems of the world. It really gets so lonely.
If the president looked like Barack Obama any first lady would make a bigger effort to be involved and keep the intimacy and romance burning.
As for our arch-enemies, the first couple of the UK, David and Samantha Cameron, I find it sickening the way they gaze into each other's eyes in public! Do they not have a repossessed farm where they can do this in private, like Gono and I do?
Lastly, I wish to clarify and correct reports that people who have affairs with me or know about them end up disappearing or "meeting God". I won't dispute their disappearance or deaths but does anyone actually know for a fact that they did meet this God? It is never wise to make unsubstantiated allegations of this nature.