Jacques Cilliers
4 minute read
26 Aug 2017
11:36 am

The Mugabe children: What’s next for Chatunga and Robert Junior?

Jacques Cilliers

We have a couple of guesses on whether the hell-raisers are likely to start behaving, based on their track record and reputation.

Grace and Robert Mugabe Junior. Picture: Facebook.

Robert Mugabe Junior and Chatunga Mugabe were shoved into the spotlight in the past two weeks. Their partying ways have been exposed, their mum and dad got involved, and now it’s a political storm.

All this because of a little party. Well, the sons have gone home to Zimbabwe. Reportedly.

We should’ve known they would be trouble.

Robert Junior relocated to South Africa at the beginning of 2017 due to reports of “discipline problems involving brawls and abuse of bad substances”.

The oldest son was based in Dubai – renting a 10-bedroom villa at $42 000 (R 549 381) per month according to this source – while studying architecture after he allegedly dropped out of the Chinese military.

Apparently, the training was too rigorous.

His time in Dubai was full of highlights, as seen in the video below, where a post-match interview shows Tino (as he’s affectionately referred to) harbouring hopes of getting more game time for AUD’s basketball team.

However, his time there was also full of drama.

Renowned Zimbabwean musician Thomas Mapfumo reportedly said: “It’s true. They wanted to kill him (Robert Junior). That is the reason why Mugabe abandoned the Swaziland summit and rushed to Dubai. He paid for his son’s freedom with diamonds money, we know the whole story.”

The Zimbabwe News even called him a “drug dealer” in this article.


Younger brother Chatunga was living it up after he allegedly completed his home schooling.

What do I mean by living it up? Well, he livestreams the good times while sipping Ace of Spades champagne (which, by the way, can cost R7 000 a bottle). Have a look.

Can they afford this type of bubbly? It’s a tricky question, bearing in mind these boys seem pretty spoilt when it comes to the rest of Zimbabwe, and their father reportedly has a net worth of $10 million.

Can they stand on their own two feet? This video claims the brothers run a chain of around 30 butcheries, mostly in Harare and Chitungwiza. Before opening the butcheries in 2016, Chatunga was denied an almost $400 000 loan from IBC bank, which operates as Stanbic in Zimbabwe.

The video also claims he sourced the capital “elsewhere” – but where did the money come from? Let’s not assume anything.

Now, let’s look at what exactly they got up to while they were in South Africa. The short answer: nothing but trouble. A quick search provides hours of entertainment, as it seems Mugabe’s kids livestream their entire existence. Mentions of Rob Junior commandeering an Air Zimbabwe jet to Cape Town, jumping on cars in Johannesburg somewhere, and racking up ridiculous bills at Kong and Taboo dominate the internet.

Earlier this year, the boys were kicked out of the Regent apartment hotel in Morningside Sandton, which was rented at a cool R70 000 per month. Their “bad boy” reputation was solidified by an unnamed resident quoted by HuffPost SA, saying: “The boys were usually up during the night partying with different ladies, drinking and smoking.”

Zimbabwe’s The Independent elaborated on their eviction. “Cigarette burns, whisky, champagne and red wine” stains on the carpet decorated the apartment once they left. Apart from living the good life and spending their money at clubs in Johannesburg, they were chauffeured around in Mercedes-Benzes and BMWs, were treated with a chef, and had private security.

Was Grace Mugabe spending quality time with her sons? Zimbabwe’s Daily News reported: “Given the wave of crime in South Africa and the negative attention they have courted, the first family now fear for Chatunga and Robert Jnr’s safety.”

Since they left their home country, the Zimbabwean first lady missed quite a few political engagements due to “security concerns”.

Grace Mugabe also had sleepless nights due to the troublesome duo’s behaviour, and cited a “spirit of drinking” for being behind her children’s behaviour.

She was quoted as saying: “I have turned to God for wisdom. I ask the Lord for intervention and pray every day when I wake up.”

The publication also reported on inner-circle conversations between Mugabe and his confidants around his boys’ “wayward behaviour”.

After the Sandton incident where Gabriella Engels (20) and two other women were allegedly assaulted by Mother Mugabe, it would seem the boys’ partying days are far from over.

Robert Jnr angered many on social media in the immediate aftermath of the alleged attack with a Facebook status that left many saying he was not taking charges against his mother seriously.

It all seemed to be a joke to Robert Jnr, who posted a picture of himself, his brother and friends chilling in Joburg, with the caption: “They keep on talking, we keep on rolling.”

He later deleted the caption following backlash on social media.



Will Mugabe’s boys change their ways? It’s not likely. With their history of partying, their expensive taste and smartphones in their hand, we haven’t seen the last of them.

When your father’s a controversial dictator, rebellion seems natural. But as we all know, most people just turn into their parents anyway, even if they don’t really want to.

This is the final article in a series of three documenting Mugabe’s children. Click to read Part 1 and Part 2.