17 February 2019

Zimbabwe: Stricken Chiwenga Still Holed Up in India

Photo: New Zimbabwe
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga.

Harare — Ailing Vice President Constantino Chiwenga is still in India where he is receiving treatment for an as yet to be disclosed ailment, President Emmerson Mnangagwa suggested, Saturday.

Mnangagwa told a Zanu PF rally in Mwenezi, South of Masvingo that Chiwenga was still not back at work while Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri is also indisposed.

Chiwenga was whisked out of the country two weeks ago after his health deteriorated. He had been showing signs of irritation and illness in public and was initially flown to South Africa early February triggering criticism and demonstrations by pro-opposition groups who argued he had no right to seek treatment outside the country after threatening to fire doctors at home.

The vice president swiftly returned home and used State media to declare that he was fit after attending a cabinet meeting last Tuesday.

However, a day later he was again flown out of the country through Manyame Airbase with reports later suggesting that he is being treated in India.

Said Mnangagwa Saturday: "As you can see, I have only Vice President Kembo Mohadi to assist me, the other Vice President, General Chiwenga, is not feeling well.

"So that is why he is not with us here. We thought it would be important to officially make this announcement because these are our senior Politburo members."

Two weeks ago, deputy information minister Energy Mutodi claimed that Chiwenga was being treated for a "stomach ailment" and was expected in the country "soon."

Muchinguri-Kashiri was injured in last year's pre-election Bulawayo bombing incident and Mnangagwa said she had gone for "check-ups".

"The national chairman (national chairperson Cde Muchinguri-Kashiri) is also not here. She had to receive her regular treatment for the injuries she suffered during the bomb explosion.

"When the bombing incident happened in Bulawayo, Cde Chinomona and Vice President Cde Mohadi also got injured, but it's good that we have them here," said Mnangagwa.

Mohadi has also not been well while Mnangagwa is also not in the best of health after being poisoned in the bitter succession struggle that rocked the ruling Zanu PF party before the November 2017 coup fronted by Chiwenga.

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