ZIMBABWE Vice President Constantino Chiwenga was airlifted to China as his health woes resurfaced. The Vice President was airlifted to the coronavirus-hit nation on Sunday after his health took a turn for the worse.
Chiwenga left Harare shortly after mid-day Sunday on a Dubai-registered private jet, a Boeing 737-7AK (BBJ), which is regularly used by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. The President even uses the same private plane when he is travelling locally.
However, Presidential spokesperson George Charamba downplayed the event saying that it was just a routine medical checkup. Charamba told the publication,
“I can confirm that the vice president left for China for his medical check-up. Obviously, we can’t say how long that will take because that will depend on what experts say. But he is out of the country.”
Chiwenga had not been seen in public for the two weeks leading up to his flight from China. The vice president’s absence from the public eye had sent tongues wagging with some quarters opining that this signalled a major fallout between Chiwenga and Mnangagwa, who have long been speculated to have a tense relationship.
Chiwenga missed the monthly national clean-up exercise on March 6, when he was due to officiate in Mvurwi. This was followed up by the Vice President missing the national field day held at President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Pricabe Farm in Kwekwe where he was supposed to be guest of honour. Chiwenga was supposed to be the guest of honour at the event, but this honour was later given to Minister of Defence and War Veterans Oppah Muchinguri.
However, Charamba denied reports on any fallout over the weekended, dismissing the allegations as nonsense. He said that Chiwenga was absent because he was not feeling well and had been ordered to rest by his doctors.
“He was not feeling too well and he wanted a bit of rest. That’s the real issue. Speculation that there’s bad blood between him and the president… is nonsense,” Charamba said.
CoronaVirus is bad news to Zim’s big 5..Govt source
Chiwenga’s trip to China comes after a state doctor chillingly warned that Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa, his deputy Constantino Chiwenga and other high-ranking Zanu PF cabinet ministers are more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) and that they could die before their time if the epidemic hits the struggling southern African nation.
Apart from the two most powerful politicians who are vulnerable to coronavirus, co-deputy president Kembo Mohadi, Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo and Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri are also said to be living in the red as records indicate that people with aging or taxed immune systems have a far more difficult time fighting off Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus.
Speaking to Zwnews, a well-placed government source revealed that Chiwenga who has been regularly in and out of hospital since the coup that deposed late president Robert Mugabe in 2017, was advised by his Chinese doctors that he might die if he contracts Covid-19. As a result of this, the source said, Chiwenga has been snubbing public events following the doctors’ warnings.