Charismatic opposition leader Nelson Chamisa says he is very worried about the health and welfare of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who has not been in the public eye since mid-last month, the Daily News reports.
Addressing a rally at a packed 10 000-seater Mucheke Stadium in Masvingo on Sunday, Chamisa said he was disturbed by Vice-President Chiwenga’s long absence from public appearance.
“I am really worried about my brother Chiwenga, really worried. Where is he?”
This comes as the former commander of the defence forces and chief architect of the military putsch which ousted former president Robert Mugabe from power has not reported for duty in a long time.
Chiwenga has been in and out of hospital since October last year. His wife, Mary, is also reported to be receiving constant medical attention. The couple has appeared in public with an obvious loss of skin pigmentation on their hands and faces, which Chiwenga once said started at around the same time that he led a military coup that ousted former President Robert Mugabe.
Chiwenga’s friends say his drinking water was poisoned. He is reported to be suffering from an acute liver problem, coupled with an esophageal ailment that is preventing him from feeding well.
Chiwenga was airlifted to India on May 18 and did not return home until June 9. He has not been seen in public even after his return. He missed a meeting between Mnangagwa and leaders of some opposition parties on June 14 and also has not attended Cabinet since.
Government sources said Chiwenga, whose ailment has not been disclosed, was “still indisposed”.
“He’s recovering at home, there’s really no deadline on when he will return to his office,” one official said, while also briefing that Chiwenga’s wife, Mary, was also battling poor health.
Zimbabwe’s presidency says it is deferring to Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s family to comment about his health, a week after the ailing 62-year-old was airlifted to South Africa for treatment.
Chiwenga, not seen in public for over a month, is being treated at a private hospital in Pretoria. The exact nature of his illness remains a subject of speculation, although his political allies now say he was poisoned.
Presidential spokesman George Charamba would not confirm where Chiwenga is being treated or discuss his condition.