Foreign Affairs and International Trade minister Sibusiso Moyo yesterday underwent what sources said had been a “successful” emergency surgery at a Harare hospital for a kidney-related ailment, the Daily News can report.
The serious medical condition forced Moyo to miss the crucial United Nations General Assembly meeting in the United States, where Zimbabwe is represented by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The retired lieutenant general became an instant celebrity when he announced live on State television last November’s military intervention which led to the popular ouster from power of former long-ruling leader, Robert Mugabe.
This saw the affable and articulate former senior military officer earning the monicker “General Bae” among his admirers.
Well-placed sources said Moyo had been rushed to the Avenues Clinic earlier this week with a kidney-related complaint which had necessitated emergency surgery.
Mnangagwa and members of his Cabinet visited him at the hospital yesterday, creating a buzz at the health centre, as well as wild speculation on social media.
Deputy Information minister Energy Mutodi later confirmed to the Daily News that Moyo was admitted at the hospital — adding that he was “recovering well from a minor illness”.
“I saw him this morning and he is fine. He is doing very well and is recovering well from a minor illness.
“People should not speculate unnecessarily as the minister is well,” Mutodi said, amid malicious social media rumours to the effect that Moyo had passed on.
Other sources told the Daily News that Moyo — who apparently has been on dialysis for some time — had undergone emergency surgery which was likely to keep him at the
Avenues Clinic for at least a week.
“He is stable but sick and is currently surrounded by close members of his family … only a few people have access to him. Hopefully, he will be out of hospital by the end of the week.
“He was operated on early today (yesterday) and the operation is related to his kidneys,” one of the sources said.
According to medical experts, dialysis is a procedure that is a substitute for many of the normal functions of the kidneys.
“Dialysis allows people with kidney failure (renal failure) a chance to live productive lives. When kidney function decreases to a critical level or complications arise, a person may need to start dialysis.
“There are two main types of dialysis, haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Haemodialysis uses a machine and a filter to remove waste products and water from the blood.
“Peritoneal dialysis uses a fluid (dialysate) that is placed into the patient’s abdominal cavity to remove waste products and fluid from the body,” online medical portal, Medicine.Net, says.
Experts add that dialysis can give some people an extended life, while in others it provides additional time to locate an appropriate donor kidney for a kidney transplant (renal transplant).
It was not clear at the time of going to print last night whether Moyo had gone through a transplant, with insiders at Avenues Clinic saying the hospital had both the skills and the capacity to carry out such procedures.
Moyo, who retired from the military following his appointment as a minister by Mnangagwa in the aftermath of last November’s military intervention, was born at Munene Mission Hospital, in Mberengwa, in 1960.
He joined the liberation struggle as a teenager in 1977 — abandoning his Form 3 studies at the time.
Moyo announced on live television on November 15 last year the military’s intervention in the governance of the country.
The curtain later fell on Mugabe on November 21, when the nonagenarian resigned from his office moments after Parliament had started damaging proceedings to impeach him.
For some time during this period, Mugabe and his erratic wife, Grace were placed under house arrest.
Several Cabinet ministers linked to the Generation 40 (G40) faction who had coalesced around Grace were also targeted in the military operation which ended a week before Christmas, with the soldiers retreating to their barracks after five weeks of executing the operation.
Among the former ministers who were targeted then were alleged G40 kingpins Jonathan Moyo, Patrick Zhuwao and Saviour Kasukuwere — with Moyo and Zhuwao still living in self-imposed exile following the fall of Mugabe from power.
Kasukuwere appears to have smoked the peace pipe with Mnangagwa and his administration, and has been in and out of the country without any hindrance.
But Moyo and Zhuwao — who have been viciously attacking Mnangagwa and his government through social media and interviews with foreign media over the past few months — have not set foot on Zimbabwean soil since last year.