Self-exiled former Manicaland provincial minister Mandi Chimene has pleaded for forgiveness from President Emmerson Mnangagwa whose succession bid she fiercely fought together with her G40 colleagues during late former President Robert Mugabe’s rule pre-2017.
In a tweet Tuesday, the once larger than life politician was not too proud to admit she was homesick.
“Home & 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 @edmnangagwa, I am sorry for everything. All I want is back home to rest. Let bygones be,” she said.
She added, “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…”
Chimene once led a war veterans faction that was fiercely opposed to Mnangagwa taking over from Mugabe.
While she enjoyed a good ride under Mugabe’s protection, at a rally she organised in solidarity with then First Lady Grace Mugabe, Chimene bluntly told then Vice President Mnangagwa that he should not eat raw fruits and then claim to have been poisoned.
This was after Mnangagwa had been taken ill amid fears of food poisoning at a Gwanda party rally by Mugabe who allegedly feared his deputy was plotting against him.
Mugabe denied the claims.
No sooner would the garrulous politician be forced to find sanctuary after Mnangagwa shot to power via a military coup in November 2017.
So desperate is Chimene’s situation that she missed her daughter’s funeral in 2019 fearing persecution by Mnangagwa.
She is among a handful G40 politicians who now live outside the country after fleeing the country when Mugabe fell.
Chimene is the first former G40 politician living outside the country to openly plead to be forgiven by the Zimbabwe incumbent.
Other former G40 politicians who fell by the wayside but have been readmitted to Zanu PF include former minister Makhosini Hlongwane and former party youth league boss Kudzanai Chipanga.