PRESIDENTIAL spokesperson George Charamba Wednesday hinted unwell Vice President Constantino Chiwenga could be battling serious ailment telling state media the one time top soldier was developing stomach acids that were “very bad”.
Chiwenga, who was revealed he had a skin ailment, was airlifted to South Africa last week to receive treatment for what Charamba seemingly limited to the aftermath of injuries sustained during a mysterious blast in Bulawayo June this year.
The hitherto unexplained explosion, which claimed two security aides, happened just as President Emmerson Mnangagwa, his two VPs and some party top officials were exiting the podium soon after a party campaign rally at White City Stadium.
A visibly spent VP, once said to have vomited during a cabinet meeting, returned home Tuesday.
Mnangagwa, who visited the VP at his home Wednesday, had assigned Health and Child Care deputy Minister John Mangwiro to accompany his deputy to South Africa.
Explaining VP Chiwenga’s condition, Mr Charamba said: “The VP had developed acids in his stomach that were reaching the small intestines. It was very bad. I think his system was producing too much of hyaluronic acid in the stomach. Ordinarily, you would need it as the first line of defence against bacteria but in his case I think secretion of acid was just too excessive to the extent that it was starting to attack stomach linings.
“Apparently, you have to give it time to allow internal body tissues to heal both large and small intestines were attacked. But he must also remain calm and rested to make sure that there is no relapsing into excessive secretion of the acids in the body. He is on a special diet because of the delicacy yemudumbu mavo (in his stomach).”
Mr Charamba said Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr John Mangwiro who travelled with VP Chiwenga to South Africa briefed the President that the VP needed time to rest before he resumed the demanding duties of his Office.
“There was also an extensive discussion with the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care on vision yevakuru the President and the Vice President in respect of the health sector,” said Mr Charamba.
“Dr Mangwiro told the President in very clear terms that the Vice President must be given sufficient time to rest and that he must keep away from the Office for a while.”
Earlier during the week, Charamba told the media the country’s second in charge had chosen to defer treatment for the life threatening condition because he wanted to be physically involved in campaigns for the July 30 elections.
At the time, Chiwenga was not running for any particular seat as his job as VP was almost sealed by his brave step to mastermind former President Robert Mugabe’s November ouster in place of his then deputy, Mnangagwa.
Charamba has not explained why an election campaign that was handled by a lot of party leaders and functionaries required the physical presence of the VP at the expense of his personal health.
Commenting on Amai Chiwenga, Mr Charamba said: “The wife is doing very well. After the Bulawayo bombing incident, apparently she had some deep lesions right to the bone and they were beginning to gather pus leading to swelling of hands. Literally, they (doctors) were cleaning lesion by lesion until vagadzira ruoko rwacho rwese. She is still swollen but the swelling is beginning to subside now. It was a very bright day I must say and all they need is to sufficient rest before they get back to the heavy tasks and duties of public office.”