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Self-exiled Mandi Chimene fears she might die in foreign lands

By Zimbabwe Voice Reporter

FORMER Zanu PF factional kingpin Mandiitawepi Chimene, who is hiding in Mozambique, fears she might die a lonely death on foreign soils where she has been holed up since fleeing the country four years ago.

Chimene, aged 62, fled when former President Robert Mugabe was toppled by the military in a popular uprising in November 2017, as her G40 factional of Zanu PF has the rug pulled from under its feet by the rival Lacoste camp.

Other G40 gladiators who fled the country and remain ensconced on foreign lands include former Ministers Professor Jonathan Moyo, Walter Mzembi, Patrick Zhuwao and Saviour Kasukuwere.

While the others have been vocal and critical of President Mnangagwa’s Government from their foreign hideouts, Chimene had maintained dead silence all along, only to storm back into the limelight last week pleading to be allowed back into the country.

Chimene says four years looking over her shoulder have taken a toll on her, and she fears she might die a lonely death away from her children and “my people”.

“Yes, I am hurt… yes I felt humiliated as a woman, to leave my children alone ndechienda kwendisingazivi korarama semutorwa. But the word sorry was created kuti ritaurwe nevanenge varesva.

“Whatever that was, I need to come back home and die among my people,” says the former liberation war fighter in her latest pleas.

She adds that if allowed back, she will work for the ruling party under President Mnangagwa and will even vote for him, saying her political experience since long back was that party members support fully the leader of the day.

“We all had positive thoughts for our nation. Kana zvakuitwa ndiVaMnangagwa ngatitende ndokukura mu politics. Handina kufundiswa kuti pasi nemusangano asi kuti pamberi nawo ngeutungamiri hwose. I support ngemoyo!! Pamperi nemusangano ngeutungamiri hwose. Tiri anhu timishaisha.”

The former Manicaland Provincial Affairs Minister said even if Zanu PF turns down her pleas for forgiveness, she will continue supporting the party leader because that was the political teachings the grew up with.

“Handina kupara mhaka ini. Handifi ndakati pasi ngemusangano.

“Chero ndikarambidzwe kuuye mumusangano ndichangouvhotera naiwo waMnangagwa wacho. Ndogwara takakura ndiro,” she said in a heavy Manica.

She found it painful that she was now roaming in foreign lands, unable to even attend her children’s funerals in Zimbabwe, for fear of political persecution.

“To have spent my girlhood fighting to be free, only to find myself 37 years later stranded airborne on my way from China simply because another senior Cadre has taken over power was beyond my expectation.

“Without disclosing my whereabouts, I must declare Zimbabwe to be my only home and no other. We rubbed shoulders during the war, shared the same plate of a small meal, trained each other to win the fight.

“It is not too late to shake hands & embrace. President Mnangagwa, I am sorry for everything. All I want is back home to rest. Let bygones be.”

Chimene angered the Mnangagwa when in 2016 she dared the then Vice President infront of Mugabe, saying he was a coward and a lizard who would be burnt down in his house if he continued fronting the Lacoste camp.

Announcing her expulsion from Zanu PF a year later after the fall of Mugabe, Zanu PF boss Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said Chimene became “big headed” after her “dubious” appointment as Minister of State for Manicaland.

“She was strategically appointed by Grace Mugabe to parcel land and farms to their G40 acolytes. We know it and we will reverse it,” said Muchinguri.

When Mnangagwa crossed into Mozambique following his expulsion from both government and the party by Mugabe in November 2017, Chimene told a Zanu PF rally that Mnangagwa was a border jumper”.

Following the incident in which Mnangagwa was treated in South Africa for poisoning, Chimene said the then Vice President was lying claiming he had eaten raw guavas. □

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