Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Walter Mzembi has dismissed rumours that he applied for political asylum at the Cuban Embassy after the military takeover. When the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) launched Operation Restore Legacy, Gokwe-Nembudziya MP Mayor Justice Wadyajena claimed that Mzembi was seeking asylum from the Cubans. However, Mzembi dismissed this claim as false, saying that his family checked into a hotel in order to protect themselves. Mzembi also stated that his home had not been attacked by ZDF soldiers like what happened to former Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo and former Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere.
In an Interview, with the Daily News, Mzembi said:
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I am hoping this interview can lay to rest the many falsehoods and fake news that have been generated and disseminated by my name and whereabouts in the most recent past, amounting to hate speech! Thank you for the opportunity to set the record straight. Now back to your first question, we were of course in bed at that wee hour but had been kept wide awake by anxiety over the statement by the military and its implications and also queries from the region on what was going on, remember on the night in question I had missed a flight to South Africa, where I had been granted an appointment with the South African Foreign Affairs minister in Pretoria in the morning of the 15th and later a meeting with President (Jacob) Zuma at 6 pm in Cape Town as part of my regional diplomatic tour but also as the ex-president’s special envoy. I had just completed a similar assignment in Zambia the previous day, where I had met both the Foreign Affairs minister and President Lungu. So my colleagues in the region were equally anxious. As to our reaction as a family, we stayed on and only moved into a hotel around 6 am, as we were now responding to various messages on the insecurity of Cabinet ministers getting to us from various sources.
We never were visited by the military contrary to falsehoods peddled by social media, and some of my colleagues in government who have been authoritatively peddling lies about my whereabouts and supposed fugitive status. I never left Zimbabwe nor sought sanctuary anywhere including the Cuban Embassy as asserted by some. My immigration and passport records can confirm this, including checking with the said embassies that are clearly irritated by these falsehoods. It’s just malice!
Mzembi went on to say that he was willing to take a break from politics if it was in the best interests of Zanu-PF. Said Mzembi:
I am yet to meet my constituency to sound them out on this, but if it’s not Zanu PF representation as predicated by my expulsion from the party, it’s time for a sabbatical. I will lend my support to any Zanu PF cadre nominated by the Party and I hope they can support me in my private life trajectory as well.
More: Daily News