Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene has threatened to shut down all Indian businesses in the province accusing the Asians of snubbing her various business meetings since her appointment early this year.
In her welcome address to Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko during a business meeting in Mutare last Thursday, Chimene gave the Asian community a five-day ultimatum to meet her or risk closure of their businesses.
“I am very disappointed by the Indian business community. They are not here and I can only see one Indian in this important meeting. Where are the others?” Chimene asked.
“I have noticed that they do not want to work with me. They have not been attending a series of business meetings I have organised since I came into office. I do not know why they have decided not to attend this meeting that is being addressed by the Vice-President of the State,” Chimene added.
“I was sent here to work. I am giving them five days from now to come for a meeting with me. If they do not want to work with the government, then they must close shop,” she said.
Chimene, who fought in the country’s liberation war, since her appointment has been ruffling feathers in Manicaland province.
In January, Chimene told Zanu (PF) supporters that she had evicted white farmers from some farms in Headlands whom she alleged were being protected by allies of former Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
In February, Chimene threatened to repossess a commercial farm allocated to ousted former Zanu (PF) secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa after the the former minister denounced government’s controversial land reform programme.