FORMER Manicaland Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Ms Mandiitawepi Chimene, who is currently holed up in self-imposed exile in Mozambique, says she is ready to come back home, claiming she is “on holiday”.
Yesterday, she reportedly met President Mnangagwa, who was the guest of honour at the commissioning of the newly rehabilitated Beira-Machipanda railway line.
It is understood that Ms Chimene — who was in China when Operation Restore Legacy took place in November 2017 and decided not to come back to Zimbabwe — pushed for the meeting with the President through some senior Mozambican government officials.
Asked when she was returning to Zimbabwe, she said: “I am on holiday; I am coming . . . Give me another two years; I would have rested enough.”
She also claimed that she decided to go into self-imposed exile because she panicked after hearing rumours that she wouldn’t be safe in Zimbabwe.
“I will be honest to Zimbabweans because people have got a misconception about my being away from home. Firstly, I wasn’t chased away; secondly, I never committed any crime and thirdly, I am not fighting anyone,” Ms Chimene added.
“I was not at home when the changes took place — I was in China. So, when I was to come back home when I was at the airport, there were alarmists who were saying the airport back home was overrun by soldiers and I was going to be apprehended upon arrival. I had a reason to panic, so I just changed my destination. It was not my plan.”
Ms Chimene said on her way back from China, she opted to drop off in Zambia, before proceeding to Mozambique, where she is presently living.
“I am here not because I am a refugee; I am not a refugee.”
She also described President Mnangagwa as “my father” and a hard worker.