Zimbabwe Wall of Shame: George Charamba

By Lance Guma

Today we add President Robert Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba to the Zimbabwe Wall of Shame. In 2004 the Permanent Secretary in the Information Ministry, bashed his wife Rudo in what was described as an attempt to kill her.

George Charamba, the spokesman for Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
George Charamba, the spokesman for Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe

It was reported on the 24th February 2004 that Rudo confronted Charamba, accusing him of having infected her with HIV. An out of control Charamba, who has a black belt in karate, responded by battering her until she was unconscious. Another report said he also assaulted her baby “badly”.

Although the police responded by arresting Charamba for the savage assault, Mugabe immediately intervened, ordering police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri to ensure the case was dropped.

The case file at Borrowdale Police station went missing and the official line put out was that Rudo had dropped the charges.

Details of the case are that sometime in 2004 Charamba travelled with Mugabe on an official trip to Cuba. On coming back, instead of going home, Charamba chose to spend the night with a prostitute.

This was allegedly just one of several escapades that Rudo got to find out about. She decided to get tested and found out she was HIV positive.

Weeping uncontrollably Rudo confronted Charamba asking why he had brought the disease into their marriage. Charamba went into a rage beating her until she fell unconscious.

Rudo was taken to a local hospital, bleeding profusely. Her friends rushed to report the matter at Borrowdale Police Station and also kept her blood stained dress as evidence.

Several women’s groups took up the case and signed affidavits supporting Rudo, but the case never got anywhere.

Family friends described Charamba as a “heavy and reckless womaniser who turns into a monster and bully at home”. He also has a well-known record of picking up prostitutes in Harare’s avenues they said.

Confirmation of what happened was to come later when George Charamba penned an article personally attacking Jonathan Moyo. A furious Moyo responded by dishing out Charamba’s dirty linen in public.

Moyo wrote an article in which he said;

“Zimbabweans would be told many things about everything, including how Charamba has attempted to murder his wife in cold blood and how that attempted murder has been covered up. And the disgusting bloody evidence would be given because it is available. This is not a threat but a promise.”

In 2010 several newspapers reported that Rudo Charamba wrote a letter to the Swedish Ambassador Sten Rylander, pleading to be removed from the European Union targeted sanctions list.

Rudo described herself as the former wife of George Charamba and claimed although they are not officially divorced they had parted ways and have lived separately since 2004.

“I am still officially married to George only because I cannot afford to file for divorce. I am out of employment and I am not well. He left me our home thereafter and he now lives with his second wife.

“I have remained quiet because I wanted to protect my children but I cannot continue to suffer like this,” part of the letter read.

In February 2011 Rudo’s wish was granted when she was one of 35 members of the Mugabe regime who had the targeted sanctions by the EU lifted. The spouses of central bank chief Gideon Gono, CIO boss Happyton Bonyongwe and prisons chief Paradzai Zimondi, were also removed from the list.

Despite Rudo Charamba’s relatives and friends keeping her clothes as an exhibit for future prosecution, Charamba continues to enjoy the high level protection of his boss, President Robert Mugabe.

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