By Robert Tapfumaneyi
EXILED former cabinet minister Walter Mzembi has confirmed MDC Alliance President Nelson Chamisa had strong fears of being poisoned at the time the opposition leader served as minister during the now-defunct inclusive government.
The inclusive government subsisted from 2009 to 2013 following the signing of the shaky Global Political Agreement (GPA) between Zanu PF and the two MDC formations then led by now late Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara.
Chamisa at the time served as minister for information communication technology with Tsvangirai coming in as prime minister and Mutambara as a co-deputy prime minister.
However, despite at one time being referred by the now late President Robert Mugabe as a “super minister”, Chamisa had no trust in his government colleagues from the Zanu PF side and feared they could lace his food with poison.
The wily politician who was in his 30s at the time, said last week that he avoided eating during the weekly cabinet meetings.
Addressing mourners at the funeral of late MDC Alliance national executive member and human rights defender, Patson Dzamara, Chamisa said he strongly believed Tsvangirai, who died in 2018, was poisoned while serving as Prime Minister.
Tsvangirai succumbed to colon cancer, an ailment that also took Dzamara’s life last week.
Chamisa told mourners that during the weekly cabinet meetings chaired by Mugabe, he never took tea during breaks as he feared for his life. Mugabe was also concerned and asked him why he never ate.
However, Mzembi, a former Zanu PF minister confirmed Chamisa’s fears this weekend.
“I sat next to Nelson Chamisa in Cabinet, he drank Fanta while we gaggled tea for the five teas and (he) explained to me poison fears,” said Mzembi.
“This issue of biological agents and other suspicions may sound like a myth but it’s real. In the last two years of my cabinet sitting, I had stopped teas as well. It may have been too late, the silver jug of ice-cold water for each member was suspect too,” Mzembi said.
“Take stock, since 1980, causes of death of cabinet ministers (has been) gastrointestinal disorders and accidents. Zanu PF is cannibalistic, before we even go to opposition, isinjonjo as they say it amongst themselves, game of elimination.
“However, his reference to Mugabe may mean the system and its targets. Look where I am (in exile), happy,” said Mzembi.
He fled into exile after his arrest on charges of abuse of office during his time as the Minister of Tourism.
Dzamara was buried Friday in his rural home Mutoko in Nyamakosi village.