HARARE’s political rumor mill is of late working overtime and journalists are gripped in a frenzy of love speculation.
This is because junior deputy Information Minister, Bright Matonga, has ditched his white British-born wife of 11 years, Anne Pout.
He has hurriedly married a rich businesswoman, Sharon Mugabe, a niece of the Robert Mugabe.
Matonga has officially moved out of the Matonga matrimonial home on a farm they grabbed from a commercial farmer and has since moved in with Sharon , an immensely wealthy businesswoman.
The 36-year-old widow who has stolen the heart of the capricious Matonga who stands a good chance of being named as new Minister of Information any time now, runs a marketing communications firm, Imago Y&R.
Matonga has become the darling of the British media as he routinely lambasts the Gordon Brown government at the slightest opportunity, while defending Mugabe.
Since Monday he has been refusing to take questions on his relationship
with Sharon Mugabe.
Sharon’s is the daughter of Albert Mugabe, the President’s late brother, the trade unionist who died in a swimming pool drowning back in the 1980s.
She was an intergral member of ZANU PF elections campaign team.
Imago Y&R, formerly Michel Hogg Young & Rubicam, was sold to Sharon Mugabe by Zimbabwe’s marketing guru Michael Hogg in 2005 after a failed bid by rival Gary Thompson’s agency, Gary Thompson & Associates.
The take-over marked one of the biggest empowerment transactions in the sector. Mugabe acquired the controlling stake in the leading advertising, marketing and communications firm.
She renamed it Imago Y&R.
It is now being alleged that Imago Y&R secured the lucrative Zanu-PF contract through its chief executive’s personal relationship with the junior information Minister.
Matonga was responsible for vetting companies that submitted tenders for the Mugabe election campaign.
Mugabe, whose husband died two years ago, now officially lives with Matonga in her mansion in Borrowdale Brooke.
She has been spotted on several occasions in the company of Matonga at one or the other of her many business enterprises, including a designer fashion boutique in the Eastgate Shopping Mall.
His close friends say Matonga’s actiona s are deplorable.
Anne is a former municipal information- technology manager.
They met while he was still at a college in Southend-on-Sea, a resort town east of London, where he studied media production and technology at South East Essex College.
Halfway through the four-year program, immigration officials tried to deport him after a change in rules for foreign students made him ineligible to stay. Anne is said to have intervened and averted her then boyfriend’s deportation.
After his graduation, Matonga worked as a delivery driver and a freelance journalist and was literally living off Anne.
Now he has ditched her for Sharon.