Mr. Patrick Zhuwao, 50-year-old nephew of deposed Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe has confirmed he fled the country to save his life.
He added that his employees were beaten and robbed and he is unlikely to return unless his safety can be guaranteed.
“People can say I ran away, yes I did. It’s better than to wait to be killed,” 50-year old Patrick Zhuwao told The Zimbabwe Standard via a phone interview.
Zhuwao fled to South Africa in late November after his uncle, Mugabe, stepped down amid pressure from both the military and the public.
Zhuwao, who owns a tobacco farm 25 miles outside of Harare, added that his workers were assaulted and their homes looted by a mob.
“When one looks at attacks launched on my farm and farm workers who were frog-marched and severely beaten just for working for me, it is enough evidence that my safety is not guaranteed,” said Zhuwao.
Before the coup, Zhuwao had served as the Minister of Public Service, Labour, and Social Welfare for only a month.
Prior to that, he spent two years as the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenization and Economic Empowerment.
Zhuwao was a member of G40, which supported Mugabe’s wife Grace in her political aspirations.