Former president, Robert Mugabe suffered years of domestic abuse at the hands of his volatile wife, Grace.

“Gushungo (Mugabe) was in serious trouble from Amai (Grace) for many  years, and at one time one of his children (name supplied but withheld)  was even forced by the circumstances to approach General ... (name of  the retired top securocrat supplied but withheld) who is distantly  related to the family, to tell him that the former president was being  badly beaten and abused by his wife.

“The situation was so bad that there was even a serious consideration by  the military top brass to take the then president, as their  commander-in-chief at the time, to the safety of Tongogara Barracks  since he was no longer safe at home,” one of the well-placed former  aides told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday.

“I don’t think that it’s right for me or for anyone for that matter to get into the details of the lives and their difficulties of Baba naAmai  ... suffice to say that they sometimes had their challenges like all  people, and it didn’t help that there is a significant ideological and  age difference between them,” the second former aide said, refusing to  shed more light.

A senior government official who did not wish to “dwell on intimate  details of the former first family’s personal lives”, was nevertheless  happy to confirm that Mugabe had “indeed lost control of the levers of  the State” by the time he was deposed from power.

“I don’t want to dwell on intimate details of the former first family’s  personal lives, but it is common cause that the former president was  definitely no longer in charge of the country when Operation Restore  Legacy happened.

“Cabinet appointments and sackings, for example, were now being made elsewhere, which is why, as you may remember, it later came out that the  former president couldn’t even remember firing President Mnangagwa when  the two men spoke on the phone at the time,” the official said.