HARARE – Former Foreign Affairs Minister Walter Mzembi has urged former Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo and his ex-Local Government, Public Works and National Housing counterpart, Mr Saviour Kasukuwere, to return to Zimbabwe.
The two former ministers allegedly skipped the country after the military intervened to pacify a potentially volatile social, economic and political situation. Their whereabouts remain shrouded in secrecy.
Former Vice-President Mr Phelekezela Mphoko returned to Zimbabwe last Friday after spending weeks in Japan and Botswana.
Mzembi told State media yesterday that while he could not delve deeper into Prof Moyo’s and Mr Kasukuwere’s issues, he wished the former ministers could come back home.
“I can’t comment much on their case because our experiences were not similar. It’s just that the new administration allows its children to come back home,” said Mzembi.
The former minister said if there were any criminal allegations, his former colleagues in Government should face justice in terms of the country’s laws which also protect the rights of citizens.
“It’s counter-productive to have some of our former ministers outside our borders. It will be good to have them back. We will have to then wait and see until they are proven guilty by the courts.”
Mzembi said he felt safe and secure as he was conducting his personal business freely.
He said, “I feel safe under an umbrella of the new President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) because he took an oath to protect rights of citizens. So, there is no need for me to worry about my security. I am free man, I drive myself around, as I have always done.
“The military chase after those who pose a security threat; Mzembi doesn’t constitute such a threat. I may have been an ideological irritant but certainly not a security threat.”
Dr Mzembi also said he never left the country for South Africa or sought refuge at the Cuban embassy in Harare after the military intervention on November 15, 2017.
Prior to the operation, he said, he had travelled to Zambia on November 12, 2017, where he met President Edgar Lungu to deliver a special message from the then President, Robert Mugabe.
On November 13, 2017, Mzembi returned to Zimbabwe and attended a Cabinet meeting the following day.
He was due to travel to South Africa on November 15, 2017 to meet Sadc Chair President Jacob Zuma in Capetown but could not do so as “his security aides told him that it could be difficult to access the airport”. Dr Mzembi then left his house together with his family to allow the situation “to normalise following the military intervention”.
The former minister said the army never looked for him at his home and was shocked to read rumours that he had fled the country. “I am not bitter at all. I am happy that I had laid down a foreign affairs vision which I believe will be useful. My last act as a Minister (of Foreign Affairs) was at 4pm on November 17, 2017 when I had a closed-door prayer meeting with my secretaries, drivers, aides.
“I even prayed for my successor, though I did not know who it was at that time. I will miss working and serving the country, but I have no hard feelings at all for all the 10 years I served as minister.”
SOURCE: Sunday Mail