PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe often turns to his teenage last born son, Bellarmine Chatunga, for a bedroom companion – when his wife is away from home.
Chatunga, by his own parents’ admission, is something of a slouch at school, and his father often invites him to bed – to talk.
This was revealed by First Lady, Grace Mugabe, as she tried to show that her 91-year-old husband finds time for his children despite his busy schedule always travelling abroad.
In an interview with the State-owned Sunday Mail newspaper marking her 50th birthday, Grace Mugabe said: “Sometimes when I am not around, they (Mugabe and Chatunga) share the bed, they talk.”
Chatunga, who was born in 1997, failed his Grade 7 exams. He also flunked his O’ Level exams and got expelled from school for truancy.
But Grace said the 18-year-old is sitting for his A’ Levels this year, adding he gets help from his multi-degreed father.
The First Lady said her husband was “sort of scare” at home but said their children understood that, as President of the country and chairman of the AU and SADC, he had to be frequently away from home.
“The children are very much aware of that,” she said.
“Their father is sort of scarce in their lives and they have grown up knowing he is always busy, always travelling and always away.
“But when he finds time, he would be with his children, talk to them and ensure they would have done their homework, especially our last born, Bellarmine, who is now doing his A-Levels.
“He is writing this year, so he will ensure he has time to talk to him.”
President Mugabe has publicly admitted that daughter Bona is the pride of his life, describing her as “very obedient” and “absolutely trustworthy.
He however, admitted to being disappointed with his two sons Robert Junior and Chatunga.
Bona, who has now left home after getting married, graduated from City University in Hong Kong with a Business Administration (Honours) degree in Accountancy and went on to study for a Masters degree.
But after After Robert Jr flunked his O’Levels exams, Mugabe joked that he had become an “undertaker”, local slang for achieving ungraded results.
Regarding Chatunga, the president said in 2013: “He has not made me happy in the way he takes to his studies.
“He should be more serious than he is at the moment,” said Mugabe, a former teacher and vaunted stickler of discipline.
“I don’t quarrel with him, nor do I raise my hand to slap him. Never! I leave that to the mother.
“But he has not made me happy in the way he takes his studies.”