A Path to Redemption: General V.P. Chiwenga’s Opportunity to Restore Zimbabwe’s Future

By Dorrothy Moyo | In a recent turn of events, revelations have emerged regarding a purported government plan to assassinate Vice President Constantino Chiwenga while he was receiving medical treatment in a South African hospital. These shocking claims, which Emmerson Mnangagwa is yet to comment on, have ignited a fervent debate among analysts and citizens alike about the potential ramifications and implications for Zimbabwe’s political landscape. Analyst Max Lion, a prominent voice in this discourse, asserts that this revelation presents General V.P. Chiwenga with an opportunity to correct the course of the nation, restoring it to a pre-2017 coup state.

Lion contends that the evidence produced during the trial raises questions about the integrity of some of the beneficiaries of the 2017 coup. The coup, which led to the removal of long-time President Robert Mugabe, initially promised a new era for Zimbabwe, but its aftermath was marred by political instability and economic turmoil. The fact that some individuals involved in the coup were allegedly willing to sacrifice the country’s stability for personal gain has left a stain on the coup’s legitimacy.

Chiwenga, a key player in the 2017 coup, holds a unique position to rectify the nation’s path. Lion argues that Chiwenga should acknowledge the errors of the coup and its negative consequences for the country. By publicly recognizing his role in the upheaval and the subsequent turmoil, Chiwenga could begin the process of restoring the nation’s trust and moving toward reconciliation.

Lion goes further to propose that Chiwenga could take a bold step by initiating a comprehensive restoration effort that brings Zimbabwe back to its pre-coup state. This would require a significant political, economic, and social transformation, potentially involving the establishment of a genuine republic with a focus on accountability and the separation of powers. This approach, aligned with the objectives of the liberation war struggle, could pave the way for a new era of ethical leadership and sustainable governance.

While Lion does not detail the specific methods for Chiwenga to achieve this ambitious goal, he acknowledges that the general is uniquely positioned to understand the internal dynamics and obstacles facing Zimbabwe. If Chiwenga orchestrated the 2017 coup, Lion suggests that he possesses the strategic acumen to engineer a reversal of the process, potentially leveraging both political and public sentiment in favor of restoration.

Lion believes that such an endeavor would not only be a patriotic duty but also a monumental opportunity for Chiwenga to cement his legacy in Zimbabwean history. By successfully orchestrating the reversal of the coup’s effects, Chiwenga could emerge as a transformational figure, revered for his contribution to the nation’s resurgence. This restoration could potentially override the negative perceptions and controversies surrounding the 2017 coup, positioning Chiwenga as a revered statesman for generations to come.

Lion’s proposal stems from his deep concern for Zimbabwe’s future. He argues that continuing down the path of instability and discord would be detrimental to the nation’s potential. The current political landscape, marked by unfair advantages in elections and leadership lacking ethical principles, only exacerbates the country’s challenges.

A South African medical doctor on Friday claimed that Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s former wife Mary Mubaiwa told him that President Emmerson Mnangagwa tried to kill his deputy in 2018.

Willi Leo Sieling made the claims while testifying at the Harare magistrates court on Friday in a case where the former model faces a charge of attempting to murder Chiwenga, her ex-husband.

Sieling said Mubaiwa continued pestering him to inject Chiwenga with a dangerous drug known as pethidine to sedate him.

“On June 29, 2019, l was accosted by the suspect (Mubaiwa) who was unhappy that l had allowed a surgeon to place an intercostal drain without her consent,” Sieling told the court.

“She scolded me and shouted at me.


“Nurses reported to me that the suspect was interfering with and hindering the administration of drugs to the complainant.

“The suspect insisted that l had to start giving the complainant pethidine.

“However, it is a highly addictive narcotic analgesic, which l refused to do.”

Sieling added: “There were continuous calls, messages and persistent demands by the suspect for the discharge of the complainant.

“The suspect started from the beginning and consistently told me that his Excellency the President of Zimbabwe wanted to kill the complainant (Chiwenga) starting with the grenade attack.”

Chiwenga escaped unhurt after an explosion hit a tent at the end of a rally at White City Stadium that was addressed by Mnangagwa on the eve of the July 2018 elections.

Dozens of people including then vice president Kembo Mohadi and Defence minister and Zanu PF chairperson, Oppah Muchinguri, security aides, politicians and supporters suffered varying degrees of injuries from the blast.

Three security aides succumbed to the injuries.

Mnangagwa, who had just left the podium after addressing Zanu PF supporters when the explosion went off blowing off the staircase and leaving some people with broken limbs, escaped unhurt.

According to Sieling, sometime in December 2018, he was called by John Mangwiro, Health deputy minister, to attend to Chiwenga at Fire Ice hotel in Pretoria.

“I discussed extensively with the complainant in the suspect’s presence,” the medical doctor said.

“Just before they left, the suspect gave me US$1 900. l do not know what the money was for.

“I just thought it was a gift from the suspect as l had gone out of my way to assist.”

“On the second trip on June 23, 2019, Mangwiro called me saying the complainant was extremely ill and needed admission into at least the High Care unit at NetCare Pretoria Hospital.

“I made arrangements for the complainant’s admission.”

Sieling said he waited until 9.40pm on the day, but Chiwenga was not brought to the hospital forcing him to go to Sheraton Hotel where he was booked to investigate.

At the hotel, Mubaiwa allegedly introduced him to one Dr Bruce Peck.

“I told everyone that the complainant would be dead if he was not admitted at the hospital,” he told the court.

“Seven days before the complainant was discharged, l was in the complainant’s room and l was extremely puzzled because he was extremely sedated as he had been since he was discharged from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

“I requested a urine specimen.”

Sieling said there was nothing wrong with the urine specimen.

However, a member of Chiwenga’s security team disclosed to him that the retired general was being administered with Pethidine, he said.

Sieling said he arranged that the specimen be extracted through a cystoscopy, and it was confirmed that Chiwenga was administered with Pethidine, but could not identify the person who administered it.

He said Mnangagwa requested a report on what was happening.

Chief secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda also visited South Africa to check on Chiwenga’s health.

The doctor said he suspected that a member of Chiwenga’s security team may have administered dangerous drugs on Chiwenga.

“I was extremely distressed because l knew that l would not be able to do anything further for the complainant and that he would need further therapy,” he said.

Harare magistrate Feresi Chakanyuka moved the case to August 28 for continuation of trial.

According to prosecutors, Mubaiwa intended to finish off Chiwenga when he lay fighting for his life in a Pretoria hospital.

It is alleged that Mubaiwa forced Chiwenga’s security details to leave his hospital room so she could find space to remove life support devices which were connected to the VP.

Chiwenga was later flown to China where he went through successful treatment.

In conclusion, Max Lion’s analysis presents an intriguing perspective on General V.P. Chiwenga’s potential to redeem himself and restore Zimbabwe’s trajectory. The proposal suggests that Chiwenga could capitalize on the opportunity presented by the revelations of the assassination plan to initiate a comprehensive transformation, repositioning Zimbabwe as a functional and prosperous nation. However, the success of such an endeavor would require careful planning, strategic execution, and the genuine commitment of key stakeholders. Only time will reveal whether Chiwenga will seize this chance to reshape his legacy and his nation’s fate. – Standard/ additional reporting zim eye