Government is pulling out all the stops in ensuring that President Robert Mugabe’s favourite child, Bona, who married Simba Chikore last year before moving into her new home along Quorn Avenue in the leafy suburb of Mt Pleasant, Harare, is safe.
Soon after moving from her father’s mansion in Borrowdale, commonly referred to as the Blue Roof, to her Mt Pleasant home which she received as a wedding gift from her parents, the Harare City Council cut down towering pine trees which had become hallmarks of the greenery along the road.
The pine trees, which had lined Quorn Avenue since the 1950s, gave the area a scenic vista, but they had to go as part of uncompromising measures to enhance the security of the president’s daughter. In the latest move, authorities have now put traffic lights at the corner of The Chase and Quorn Avenue, with government officials telling the Zimbabwe Independent this was also meant to enhance security for Bona.
“The robots were installed late last year to ensure the smooth flow of traffic. You will notice that there is always a high volume of traffic on The Chase and people wishing to turn into the road from Quorn and other roads find it difficult to do so, when it is busy. Often drivers try to beat traffic which can lead to accidents,” said a security agent. “The robots are meant to ensure that she travels safely.”
Bona also enjoys 24-hour security provided by armed police officers from the Police Protection Unit, which provides security to VIPs such as cabinet ministers, High Court and Supreme Court judges as well as security sector bosses.
Bona, who seems to be Mugabe’s favourite child going by his public remarks, was given the historic Mt Pleasant house where Mugabe lived after Independence in 1980. The house has since been renovated and to enhance security, a new high security wall was erected, with 15 external lights mounted two metres apart to light up the grounds at night.
Thanks to Bona, city fathers also put cat’s eyes (a retro-reflective safety device used in road marking) along Quorn Avenue to enhance safety at night, soon after she moved onto the property.
Bona is Mugabe’s first-born child with his wife Grace and the only daughter. He has two sons Robert Jnr and Bellarmine Chatunga with Grace whose first born is Russell Goreraza.
On a number of occasions, Mugabe has expressed his public admiration of his daughter. He says she is “very obedient” and “absolutely trustworthy”. His wife Grace has publicly applauded Bona for her moral rectitude and being courtly.