Vice President Constantino Chiwenga is hospitalised in South Africa, sources have reported.
Chiwenga abruptly left a Cabinet meeting on October 2 after falling violently sick, and was rushed to hospital later that night.
He reappeared in public on October 4 at a Zanu PF politburo meeting, with visible swelling on his hands.
The former Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander missed Cabinet this week after being airlifted to South Africa, according to government sources.
“He’s in a bad shape, critical. It’s quite bad. His wife is with him but she has her own medical complications from a heart problem. You must keep them in your prayers,” a government official with knowledge of Chiwenga’s condition told ZimLive.
Chiwenga and his wife, Mary, have a similar medical problem which manifests in swollen hands and feet. They have also lost their skin pigmentation “all over their bodies”, Chiwenga said in May.
He said the condition started when he led a military coup against former President Robert Mugabe last November, and they had been to doctors who told them they could not diagnose what was afflicting them. In the end, Chiwenga said they had turned to traditional herbes recommended by a Catholic nun.
Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo, an army general who took part in the November putsch against Mugabe, making a special broadcast to the nation, also remained in a South African hospital as of Thursday afternoon, although sources said there were plans to fly him to Zimbabwe where he would continue being watched by doctors.
“It’s a desperate situation with him,” a source said. “If he is returned to Zimbabwe, the hospital that would be looking after him would be pretty much a hospice. That means there’s no treatment available for him.”
Meanwhile, Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi has been taken ill with an undisclosed ailment and was being seen by doctors in Harare on Friday.