During her time, Chimene, once a prominent member of the infamous Generation 40 camp that was fiercely opposed to Mnangagwa’s succession plot, often organised solidarity marches in support of Mugabe and his wife, Grace.
1 min ago1,9831 minute read
By Irvin Sibanda
FORMER Minister Mandiitawepi Chimene, who fled into exile in Mozambique when the military toppled Robert Mugabe in November 2017, has revealed in a video that she is surviving by baking plain buns for sale.
Chimene was A Resident Minister for Manicaland Province when Mugabe was placed under house arrest and subsequently forced into resigning, leading to members of a Zanu-PF G40 faction scurrying for cover across the country’s borders.
In a video conversation recorded and leaked by a colleague back home in Zimbabwe, Chimene is seen munching a freshly baked plain bun, saying Zimbabwe groomed her to survive under tough conditions.
The former State intelligence operative says she is getting by selling plain buns
Although she does not reveal her location in the short video, Chimene is believed to be holed up in Mozambique.
Chimene had grown immensely popular for her public dressing down of then Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa at rallies organized by the Mugabes, including one occasion when she said Mnangagwa would be burnt to death if he did not renounce factionalists rooting for his presidential ambitions.
At an emotive Zanu-PF rally in Harare in July 2016, Chimene described Mnangagwa as a ‘troublesome animal’ that had to be expelled to save the party from crumbling.
“We now hear there is a group known as Team Lacoste and to legitimise it, they created a fictitious group called G40.
“We have seen people wearing Team Lacoste T-shirts, but never G40. Some of us are accused of being members of G40, while others now think I take drugs. I am okay with it, if it makes me work well. I am ready to be the sacrificial lamb.
“I have been asked to come here and say things as they are. Tsholotsho was led by Mnangagwa and now we hear Team Lacoste is led by him as well,” she said in front of Mugabe, while Mnangagwa remained frozen in his seat at the High table.
Apart from Chimene, other former G40 functionaries that fled the country include former Ministers Professor Jonathan Moyo, Walter Mzembi, Saviour Kasukuwere, Patrick Zhuwao and Godfrey Gandawa.
Watch the video below:
Chimene once led a war veterans splinter group after the mainstream war veterans association led by Christopher Mutsvangwa had braved a Mugabe backlash by standing firmly behind Mnangagwa’s bid to become President.
All came to a dramatic ending when Mnangagwa, with the help of the military, staged a popular coup against Mugabe, leaving his once fierce rivals at his mercy.
To save her own skin from apparent reprisals, Chimene reportedly skipped into neighbouring Mozambique and little of the once larger than life character has been heard since.
In January last year, Chimene failed to turn up at the funeral of her daughter, fearing arrest. – Zimbabwe Voice