9 January 2019

Zimbabwe: Self-Exiled Chimene Dodges Daughter's Zim Funeral

Photo: The Herald
Former Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandi Chimene (file photo).

Mutare-self exiled former Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandi Chimene failed to turn up for the burial of daughter Ellen Zimondi who passed at 35 last month after suffering from an undisclosed ailment.

Chimene is believed to be holed in Mozambique ever since President Emmerson Mnangagwa, with the help of the military, November 2017 staged a coup against former President Robert Mugabe.

Zimondi, according to sources, had been admitted at a privately owned Murambi Gardens Clinic in Mutare over a two week period before she died on December 14.

But a lot of interest was centred on whether her once powerful mother would finally decide to end nearly a year of self-imposed exile to attend to give her own send-off to her daughter.

However, the outspoken war veteran is reported to have snubbed the burial of her daughter fearing persecution from the new Mnangagwa administration.

According to sources, Zimondi was buried at Yeovil cemetery in Westlea in the absence of her mother.

"Chimene did not pitch up for her daughter's funeral and burial. She probably feared for her life or persecution since she was a fierce critic of President Mnangagwa,"said a source close to the family.

Chimene, a Zanu PF controversial former Zanu PF politician became more known for her fanatical opposition of the then Vice President Mnangagwa's presidential ambitions during Mugabe's fierce rule.

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.

She 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, November last year staged a coup against Mugabe, leaving his once fierce rivals at his mercy.

To save her own skin, Chimene reportedly skipped into neighbouring Mozambique and little of the once larger than life character has been heard since.

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