By Simplicius Chirinda
London, April 14, 2014 – Self-exiled Zimbabwean novelist, Chenjerai Hove, says he will only return home if “some kind of change” were to happen.
The outspoken Hove told Radio VOP in London that it’s not yet time to return home.
He said the status quo under President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF government has made any thought of returning home difficult.
“The situation is still the same since I left, if not worse,” said Hove, who now lives in Norway.
“Things are still the same and if I were to go back I will just be going back to be arrested as before. Nothing has changed.”
Asked to explain what exactly he meant, Hove added.
“I was arrested in the past and if I were to go tomorrow it (the arrests) will become worse because I will be criticising more,” he said.
Hove, whose writings are firmly steeped in the social and political aspects of lives of ordinary Zimbabweans said although he would love to be home it is difficult without freedom.
“Freedom is being able to live without fear,” he said. “That fear that makes living difficult is still very much part of Zimbabwe.”
Hove left Zimbabwe in 2001, at the start of President Mugabe’s clampdown on civil liberties.
He was one of the well-known government critics using his famous articles widely published in Zimbabwean newspapers as a medium in addition to his novels that were equally hard-hitting.
Hove has in the past told the media of how he refused to accept government freebies when approached as a way of trying to silence him.
He said he was once offered a farm but refused to accept the offer and opted instead to continue writing his books until he had to flee as state security agents pursued him with the intention of detaining him into prison.
At one point the government planned a set up with the intention of arresting him. A plan involving a vehicle that he had sold was hatched and the car was found dumped in Plumtree in Matabeleland South province loaded with sacks of marijuana.
He was accused of trying to smuggle marijuana to neighbouring Botswana. His only way out was that he has sold the car in question through a reputable car garage something which helped him escape jail.