Reward Marufu, elder brother to First Lady Grace Mugabe, died on Wednesday at his farm near Bindura in Mashonaland Central.
Marufu (55) passed away on Wednesday morning after a long illness. However, it could not be ascertained by the time of going to print what he was suffering from.
Family spokesperson Ambassador Joey Bimha confirmed the death and said funeral arrangements would be announced in due course.
Another family representative on Wednesday said Marufu had died at his Leopards Farm after being ill for a long time.
“Marufu died after a long illness. He passed on at his farm just 20 kilometres out of Bindura where mourners are gathered,” he said.
Marufu’s death comes barely a month after the First Family lost President Mugabe’s sister, Sabina, who was declared a national heroine and buried at the National Heroes’ Acre.
President Mugabe’s other sister, Bridgette, is reportedly ill and is admitted at Parirenyatwa Hospital.
Unconfirmed reports from Bindura say Zanu PF is mulling conferring Marufu with provincial hero status in recognition of “his contribution to the liberation struggle”.
Marufu was born in Sadza, Chivhu, in 1955 and started his primary education at Sadza Primary School and proceeded to Makumbi Mission in 1974 for his secondary education. Marufu was seconded to Canada as Zimbabwe’s deputy ambassador.
Mugabe Wednesday travelled to the Marufu farm to console his in-laws.
Mugabe described Marufu’s death as a sad loss to the family as he was a quiet man who loved his family and sisters.
Mugabe said he first met Marufu during the war and got to know him better when he fell in love with his sister (Grace) when he was working in the President’s Office.
Mugabe was accompanied by Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, Media, Information and Publicity minister Webster Shamu and service chiefs.
Marufu is survived by his wife Debra and six children.