22 February 2019

Zimbabwe: Plane 'Snag' Forces Ailing VP Chiwenga to Abort Flight Home

Photo: ZBC
VP Constantino Chiwenga (file photo).

Zimbabwe's troubled Vice President Constantino Chiwenga's plane was Friday forced to abort take-off after developing a "snag" some moments before the ex-military boss was about to fly back home from India where he has been receiving treatment.

Chiwenga was flown to Indian hospitals on a private jet some two weeks ago with his health status a matter of speculation among Zimbabweans. He was accompanied by the Deputy Minister of Health John Mangwiro.

But his attempt to return home was not without incident, according to Indian press which reported that the VP's aircraft developed "a snag" and was Friday evening said to be grounded at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA).

"An aircraft with Zimbabwean vice president Constantino Chiwenga and his delegation on board developed a snag at IGIA Airport on Friday when the dignitaries were about to fly back from their country," reported The Times of India.

"According to sources, the Boeing 737 (A6-RJX) taxied out at 7 pm for taking off for Zimbabwe. However, soon afterwards it developed a snag and then returned to the terminal at 7.45 pm.

"The non-schedule flight was operating with a call sign RO-J005. The B737-700 is over two decades old."

Chiwenga was forced to prematurely abandon his treatment in South Africa some two weeks ago following public protests.

Local comedian Sabhuku Vharazipi was last week captured on video making fun of the VP's plane which he said jokingly that it was denied permission to land on South African soil and was redirected to India because the VP was too sick to be treated in the neighbouring country.

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