Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa Says Stressed By Chiwenga Ailment

Photo: The Herald
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga (file photo).
24 November 2019

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says he has had "sleepless nights" over Vice President Constantino Chiwenga's chronic ailment, which took the former military commander to South Africa, India and China seeking for help in the past few months.

Chiwenga returned back home Saturday claiming to have fully recovered from 123 days of treatment by Chinese doctors.

He was soon to receive Mnangagwa at his Harare home where he thanked the Zimbabwean incumbent for flying him to foreign hospitals for advanced treatment.

Speaking soon after meeting his deputy, Mnangagwa said he was relieved the once feared military boss had recovered his full fitness.

"When he left, he was unwell, which was giving us sleepless nights because our comrade was unwell," Mnangagwa said of a man who secured him the top job after overthrowing then State leader Robert Mugabe 2017.

"So, we arranged for him to go to South Africa and while he was there, we spoke to our Chinese friends, we spoke to President Xi Jinping, who is our dear friend, who offered to assist with his treatment.

"We saw it fit for the VP to go to China. We flew him there and he stayed there for a number of months. Now you can see for yourselves that he has regained his fitness and he is clear-minded.

"When he initially left he was having memory lapses, and he was in so much pain that everyone could tell the agony he was in."

VP Chiwenga, he said, is now "raring to go".

"I am confident that now the whole of Zimbabwe knows that the Vice President is back and fit, and he is very clear and raring to go. That is why I said God is there because my colleague is back and we can now put our heads together to uplift the country."

Mnangagwa said he was not too concerned about prospects of a quick return to work by Chiwenga until he was fully recovered.

"... I am more concerned about his welfare and that he is back to full fitness. But as someone who is coming from being ill, I only wish for him to start his duties slowly and move progressively to take up more work. You can see for yourselves that the man is glowing."

Mnangagwa said Chiwenga's ill-health had affected him personally, adding that his return had brought him immense relief.

He said he also sent a special message of thanks to President Xi Jinping for facilitating VP Chiwenga's treatment.

"I am also very grateful to my brother, the President of the People's Republic of China whom I talked to and he said he will do his best and instruct his system to do their best to look after your Vice President, and that has been done.

"And I have sent a letter to President Xi Jinping thanking him for the role he played in looking after my VP. Besides that, I have also asked General Chiwenga on how was the care in the hospital and he says, 'Mukoma, ndakabatwa zvakanaka, I can't think of anything else or wish for anything else . . .'"

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