PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa told Zimbabweans in Angola that he walked for over 10 hours, avoiding landmines, into Mozambique to evade an attempt on his life by allies of his predecessor.
Mnangagwa, who has in the past also told a gathering that he walked 30 kms into the neighbouring country, said he left home four hours after receiving a red flag from one of the security details who was part of the team assigned to eliminate him.
“Then you know for many years I operated in Mozambique in the department of security. I know the area and it’s infested with landmines. Those things are still there, you walk in between strings to avoid landmines,” said the president, according to the state-owned Herald newspaper.
He added, “I did from 9pm until about 7:30am the next day. I arrived in Mozambique and we had a lift back to the border to have my passport stamped again on the Mozambican side.
“Then I phoned a colleague from South Africa that I was on my way to Beira. By the time we arrived in Beira, a small plane had arrived from South Africa to pick me up and I went to South Africa.”
He said the option had to be taken because of complications which had arisen at the Zimbabwean side of the border.
Mnangagwa said after his passport was stamped, unnamed “immigration officials” tried to intercept him, indicating they had been told that he should not be allowed to leave the border.
“I arrived at the border and our side stamped my passport. But before they could lift the boom for me to cross into Mozambique, it was closed.
“The message came that I was not allowed to leave Zimbabwe. I said in that case there was no need, I go back. They said again I was not allowed to go back into Zimbabwe but I said ‘you can’t stop me. What case have I committed?’
“As I was walking away they tried to fire but I have a young man, one of my twin sons, was there. He was an officer and was able to grab the weapon and was not shot.”
The dramatic escape came at a time Mnangagwa was recuperating from poisoning which took its toll during the Gwanda interface rally last year. He had to be airlifted to South Africa for treatment.
He, however, told his Angolan audience that he was now fully recovered.
“I am not clear on what stage I took the poison but I took it,” he said adding, “I am aware that the poison content was at the time around 361 percent but after six days it came down to about 11 percent. I am happy that last week I was declared (poison) free.”