Vice President Rt General Constantino Chiwenga arrived in the country on Saturday morning and was welcomed by China’s Deputy Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Zhao Baogang upon his arrival at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.
On the welcoming delegation was also his elder brother Onisimo and Son Tawanda.
No ZANU PF or government official was present to welcome him. There have been several reports that Chiwenga is working with China to plot a coup against President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Commenting on Chiwenga’s arrival Professor Jonathan Moyo said, “General Chiwenga is back and looking fit. He was received at RGM Airport in Harare early this morning by Chinese Deputy Ambassador, Zhao Baogang. While Zimpapers were on duty to capture the arrival, no government or ZanuPF officials were seen save for Chiwenga’s relatives and security!”
Mnangagwa govt blasts China over airport drama
Presidential Spokesperson George Charamba has lashed at the Chinese Deputy Ambassador for breaking protocol and welcoming Vice President Constantino Chiwenga at the airport on Saturday morning.
Chiwenga was arriving from a medical pilgrimage in China whe he was being treated for multiple organ failure.
“TWI-PROTOCOL? Interesting that well-known oppositional twi-voices seek to teach is how to welcome and love our leaders! Itsitsi dzei? For the record, ED who is Head of State and President of Zimbabwe does not – repeat – DOES NOT receive his Deputy. In the same vein, the Chinese Ambassador who personifies the Chinese State here in Zimbabwe WILL NOT receive a Vice President of the State to which he is accredited. Protocol does not allow both cases. For the record, President Mnangagwa and his Deputy enjoyed daily communication while the VP was away.”
Charamba said President Mnangagwa will meet Chiwenga at an appropriate time.
“The President will meet and welcome his Deputy in the appropriate way and setting. In the meantime, all well-meaning Zimbabweans rejoice that Vice President Chiwenga is back and looks fit.”
Meanwhile Chiwenga has received President Mnangagwa at his Munhumutapa offices for a briefing.
The President was accompanied by the First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa.
What is Chiwenga up to
THE return on Saturday of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga from China where he has been on treatment for an undisclosed ailment for over six months has become the subject of much speculation and conspiracies in Zimbabwe.
Social media has generated rumours galore, with users alluding that Chiwenga’s return from the Asian country had exposed the fragile nature of relations between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his deputy.
Many have questioned the conspicuous absence of Mnangagwa and other senior government officials from the Robert Mugabe International Airport to welcome back home Chiwenga following such a long hiatus from the country.
Conspicuouslys absent was also his wife Mary Chiwenga who has been seen in the country while her husband was holed in a Chinese hospital.
“It is clear Chiwenga is an unwelcome visitor following internal squabbles in the ruling Zanu PF’” said a senior official.
“Speculation has been rife that Chiwenga and Mnangagwa fell out amid clashes in how to run the country as well as on appointment of cabinet ministers.
“Following the January protests Zanu PF insiders accused Chiwenga and some military elements of scheming to topple Mnangagwa.
“Chiwenga is also accused of having a soft spot for the youthful opposition leader Nelson Chamisa whom he wanted to be involved in the political dialogue while Mnangagwa has set conditions that Chamisa must concede electoral defeat.”
Sources also said Chiwenga, though he was not a full time politician before the November 2017 military intervention that ushered in the Mnangagwa adminstration, has already built strong structures within the party to upset Mnangagwa.