Chimene responds to Chiwenga attack

Source: Chimene responds to Chiwenga attack – The Standard August 14, 2016

MANICALAND Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene has downplayed statements by Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander, General Constantino Chiwenga that seemed to attack her after she tore into Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa last month.


Chimene openly declared at a rally in Harare that Mnangagwa was plotting to unseat President Robert Mugabe using a Zanu PF faction known as Team Lacoste.

She dared Mugabe to give her the authority to fire the VP if he was not able to remove Mnangagwa.

Chiwenga then later said people who smoked marijuana should do so without provoking others. This was in reference to Chimene alluding she may be a smoker of the drug.
However, Chimene said she was not fazed by the attacks as the general did not mention her by name.

“How can we say he is wading into Zanu PF wars when he is not in party uniform?” Chimene asked.

“His job is to defend the country from external invaders and to speak when the country is facing a threat.

“He made those statements because he feels the country is under threat.”

The self-proclaimed interim leader of a splinter Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, said none of the statements attributed to Chiwenga were directed at her.
“Chiwenga knows me by name and if he was talking about me then he should have used my name. He did not, so do not draw your own conclusions,” she said.

Chimene claimed Chiwenga’s statements could have been twisted to cause fights between herself and the army general.

“Those things were written by people who have an agenda to push a wedge between us and the army. But I am not worried because I have a cordial relationship with Chiwenga,” she said.

Chiwenga also appeared to be casting aspersions on Chimene’s liberation war record, saying: “This nonsense of someone who was at a refugee camp or was a cleaner moving around telling people that he or she fought in the struggle is just that, nonsense.”

But the minister said she never cleaned anyone’s room during the war, insisting that she was a commander.

“I was also a commander and had my room cleaned by other people, so I am not worried about those statements,” she said.

Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo, who was also on the receiving end of Chiwenga’s attacks, did not respond to questions sent to him by this reporter.