Exiled former Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Walter Mzembi is not planning to return to Zimbabwe any time soon in spite of a recent High Court judgment that acquitted him of corruption charges.
Mzembi who was arrested after the late former President Robert Mugabe was deposed in a military coup in November 2017, is now living in South Africa.
He said he went into exile on health and political grounds and as long the same political environment continues to exist he will not be coming back any time soon. Mzembi said:
One day I will be back but I will not be prompted to come back soon, not by man, certainly not by acquittals.
The reasons for my being out are still valid, they are political in addition administratively I am here by the permission of the Courts on medical grounds notwithstanding the banter you may read from time to time.
Mzembi believes the charges against him were politically motivated and concocted by his erstwhile colleagues who had triumphed through the coup. He said:
All my accomplices were acquitted by the lower courts for the other case and charges withdrawn because the charges were extremely frivolous, they were framed in the heat of the moment in November 2017 when comrades were bloodthirsty.
My charges are absolutely political, how I can be arrested for donating TVs to churches yet there was a cabinet directive that was put in place to promote religious tourism and that directive is still in place.
In a judgement made available this week, Justice David Mangota of the Harare High Court cleared Mzembi on charges of abuse of office and stealing funds during the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) conference which was co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia in 2013.
However, he still faces charges of donating four television sets to churches during his tenure.