DUBAI-BASED businesswoman, politician and human rights activist, Edith Chibhamu has revealed that she went on a year-long sabbatical after falling ill.
Speaking from her base in the Middle-East, Chibhamu, who is the president of the opposition party Zimbabwe Democratic Party and Economic Freedom Party, said she suffered stomach complications which confined her in hospital for months.
“I went into total silence. I almost died but God in heaven and my family held my hand through it all. My husband had a torrid time taking care of me,” she said.
“He and the children became the best prayer warriors. It is when you are faced with death and you lose everything that you will know who your true friends are. In 2024 my focus is now on my family and business. Life is too short and, therefore, spending a lot of quality time with your family is key.”
She also revealed how the illness affected her political life and business empire after the philanthropist pulled out of the August 23 harmonised elections last year when she was hospitalised.
“I still have the ultimate love for the Zimbabwean people, especially the women and children. My heart bleeds each time I see what is happening on the grassroots in Zimbabwe.
“I hate playing politics with people’s lives. As a leader in any country in the first two years of your leadership, the results must be seen on the ground. I don’t measure results by the number of roads or buildings we build.
“I measure success through the lives of the people on the ground. If their lives are not changing in the ghetto and in the villages then we still have huge problems. One thing that I know is that if a country is democratic there will be no need for violence or the unjustified arrests of opposition leaders and members.”
Chibhamu, however, still harbours political ambitions.
“I don’t want anyone to be negatively affected by politics for me. Every life matters and must be preserved. Zimbabwe has recorded a number of human rights abuse cases, especially during the post-election period.
“Zimbabwe needs a leader not a ruler. There is a need to deal with the health crisis bedevilling the country. School dropouts have become the order of the day while underage pregnancies are now prevalent.
“Child marriage, especially of girls between 10 and 14 years by religious leaders must stop. All paedophiles are now hiding under religion and our government is not doing anything about it and it is sad. We see senior government officials attending some of these religious gatherings, yet they do nothing about it,” she told NewsDay.