|'Dynasty': There are fears inside Zimbabwe that 91-year-old president Robert Mugabe (centre) wants his daughter Bona (left) to succeed him|
There are fears inside Zimbabwe's that president Robert Mugabe wants to turn his dictatorial rule over the country into a monarchy - by getting his daughter to succeed him. He originally planned for his wife to assume the position of president after him but her worsening health has forced Mugabe to turn to his 24-year-old daughter Bona, according to the Times.
She accompanied the 91-year-old dictator on a recent trip to Japan to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe - a move which drew widespread condemnation from parties within the country. Last year, Mugabe promoted his wife Grace to a senior position within his ruling ZANU-PF party where she led a vicious campaign to remove former vice-president Joice Mujuru from office.
But the 49-year-old has fallen severely ill in recent months and she has been taking regular trips to Singapore for medical treatment. In her absence, their daughter Bona has taken a more prominent role at the Zimbabwean president's side at official events and trips.
Earlier this week, photographs emerged showing her with Mugabe - who is also in poor health - as part of a state delegation that held talks with Japan's prime minister. The move sparked furious criticism from opposition parties and political analysts but a ZANU-PF spokesman insisted the move was not politically motivated.
In an interview with Nehanda Radio, Psychology Mazivisa said: 'Madam Bona Mugabe has not done anything nearly as much. 'We refuse to buy into the narrative that for as long as it's President Mugabe doing it, no matter how perfectly lawful it is, it's wrong... It's a barbaric way of doing politics.'
But a spokesman for the opposition MDC party said it clearly showed 'that the state has been virtually privatised by the Mugabe dynasty'. Bona Mugabe-Chikore was born to Robert Mugabe's first wife Sally and attended the Dominican Convent School in Harare.
|Succession: Mugabe originally wanted his wife Grace (centre) to assume the position of president after him, but her worsening health has forced him to turn to his daughter Bona (right)|
She gained a master's degree in banking and finance at the Management Development Institute in Zimbabwe two years later. And just last year, she married an Emirates airline pilot Simba Chikore in a luxurious wedding ceremony in Zimbabwe.
Her inclusion in the diplomatic mission to Tokyo also sparked widespread condemnation because many civil servants in the country have worked for months without pay. Mugabe recently said he earned £8,000 a month compared to the average civil servant's salary of £200 but claimed: 'I am suffering just like you.'