Mugabe Love Story Sparked Hatred of UK

In the 1960s, he begged London not to deport his wife
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Apr 6, 2008 3:40 PM CDT
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, centre, meets with head of the African Union Observer Mission members at Zimbabwe House in Harare, Thursday, April, 3, 2008.    (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Robert Mugabe's hatred of the British may have stemmed from an affair of the heart, reports the Independent. Newly released letters from the 1960s show the future tyrant openly begged London not to deport his then-wife, Sally Mugabe, who had fled Rhodesia in the 1960s when he was jailed for anti-colonial activities. "It is certainly unfair for the British government to add to the misery of her already broken life," Mugabe wrote.

But his letters turned prickly as London stalled. "It is clear to me that the Home Office is hanging on to legal technicalities completely deprived of morality," he wrote to PM Harold Wilson. London let her stay in the end, and Mugabe reunited with Sally, who became the first lady of Zimbabwe. But Mugabe never forgot his treatment by No. 10 Downing Street, when he and his love were most vulnerable.