Is Mugabe's daughter Bona Zimbabwe's Ivanka Trump?

Harare - Bona Mugabe, who has just been named to Zimbabwe's unpopular censorship board, knows what it's like to be gossiped about.

As longtime president Robert Mugabe's daughter (she is named after his mother), the 27-year-old has only ever known life in the shadow of her sometimes-loved, sometimes-hated father.

As an undergrad in Hong Kong, Bona Mugabe's life was far removed from the six-to-a-room indignities that a number of Zimbabwe students have been through at home, according to All Africa

Luxury villa

Instead, she spent a portion of her student days in the luxury of a $7.6 million villa - one that the authorities claimed the First Family was only "borrowing" from its government, according to the National Post.

Her wedding to pilot Simba Chikore in 2015 was the nearest Zimbabwe has got to a "royal wedding", with the event at the Mugabe family's blue-roofed private villa in the plush Borrowdale suburb beamed live to dutiful viewers by the state ZBC broadcaster.

Also that year Bona Mugabe was reported to have been drafted in to help revive the fortunes of the First Family's Alpha Omega dairy in Mazowe district, then allegedly struggling under a debt of $20 million. "She is cleaning up the mess," an insider told Zimbabwe's Standard newspaper. 

Famed toughness

That toughness will likely stand her in good stead in her latest role as a member of Zimbabwe's almost universally disliked censorship board. 

Speculation is that the president's daughter has been drafted in - with payment, of course - to keep an eye on Zimbabweans' posts on social media platforms, where comments about her father and other members of the family are often far from complimentary.

Is she qualified for the job? Well, she has a Masters in banking and finance from Singapore if that's relevant. It doesn't look like it is, actually. 

If you're going to criticise Bona, just think of Ivanka Trump, glamorous businesswoman daughter of the new US president, one Herald reader suggested on Wednesday. The post read: "Bona has same qualifications as Ivanka Trump so haters keep quiet."