HARARE: Vice Presidents Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi have been flown to India and South Africa respectively as they battle failing health, Zim Live reports.
Chiwenga was forced to prematurely abandon his treatment in South Africa earlier this week following public protests. After attending a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday where he looked gaunt and pale, he told the state broadcaster ZBC that he was well, and accused the media of wishing him dead.
The retired army general has publicly said he was poisoned in 2017, while leading a military coup that ousted former President Robert Mugabe. A presidential spokesman however said in October last year – following Chiwenga’s lengthy treatment in Pretoria – that he was “exhausted” after working for years without leave and “had a bullet lodged in his lungs from the war period” 40 years ago.
Chiwenga, meanwhile, was flown by private jet to India on Thursday, accompanied by the Deputy Minister of Health John Mangwiro.
Chiwenga attended Cabinet on Tuesday after which he declared that he was in good health, but a video of him speaking to the ZBC, shared widely on social media, only served to heighten concerns about his health.
In recent public appearances, Chiwenga has looked agitated and sweaty. The top of his hands have been patched with bandages, which medical experts said pointed to on-going treatment with injections.
On Wednesday, Chiwenga missed a Zanu PF politburo meeting in the morning. Later in the day when Mnangagwa met his former election rivals for talks aimed at defusing political tensions and building a united front in a desperate push to revive the economy, Chiwenga was conspicuous by his absence. Mohadi attended.