Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Sibusiso Moyo has been admitted in a hospital in South Africa. This was confirmed by Presidential spokesperson George Charamba who said that the Minister is undergoing a scheduled operation.
Writing on social media site, Twitter, Charamba who uses the handle Jamwanda2 wrote,
"This is a scheduled operation. I can’t vouch that he is now admitted. But I am aware this was a pending event, after Mauritius."
Charamba was responding to a question from journalist and former editor of the DailyNews Stanley Gama who has said that Moyo was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for a complicated procedure. In his inquiry which was addressed to Charamba and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Nick Mangwana, Gama wrote,
"I’m reliably informed that Min of Foreign Affairs SB Moyo is admitted at a South African hospital where he is undergoing a complicated procedure. The source says he is in ICU. This is not officially verified yet. @Jamwanda2 and @nickmangwana please help on this one. Where is he?"
After the confirmation, he added,
"So it’s confirmed that SB Moyo is in SA for an op. I obviously pray he gets well. SB and Zanu PF bigwigs can be flown to SA for treatment but does this govt ever think of the thousands dying due to lack of medical care. @edmnangagwa pple are dying like rats in Zim."
The Minister is reported to be afflicted by a kidney condition and spent around 4 months last year without making a public appearance after he was admitted at a South African hospital again. The Minister was initially admitted at the Avenues Clinic in September in what was announced as a minor illness. However, from then the situation escalated and he never made any public appearances and was reported to have gone to South Africa for treatment.
Moyo’s latest operation in a South African hospital comes at a time when President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has already fired well over 200 doctors. A further 300 doctors are set to lose their jobs after the government ruthlessly cracked down on doctors for going on strike which has lasted well over 2 months. If the 300 doctors whose heads are on the chopping block are fired, Zimbabwe would have lost a third of its doctors.
The doctors, on the other hand, are arguing that they are incapacitated to work as their wages are too low to allow them to look after themselves and their families. According to media reports, the lowest-earning doctor receives a paltry salary of only US$80.
To add to the citizens’ woes over the health sector, the United Kingdom announced that it will be fast-tracking the Visas for foreign doctors a situation which could see Zimbabwean doctors leaving the country in droves.
However, that prospect is unlikely to worry the country’s leaders as they have a very long and unenviable record of seeking health care in foreign countries. This was normalised under the rule of former President Robert Mugabe who received treatment in Singapore and Malaysia.