A former cabinet minister on Wednesday released a photograph which he claimed showed a recovering Vice President Constantino Chiwenga.
The undated picture was posted on Twitter by Jonathan Moyo, who fled Zimbabwe in November 2017 when the military then commanded by Chiwenga seized power and forced President Robert Mugabe to resign.
The picture shows a smiling Chiwenga in a chair being embraced by an Asian-looking man while his wife, Mary, stands next to him.
“#SightFromBeijing. No comment!,” Moyo said in a caption accompanying the picture.
— Prof Jonathan Moyo (@ProfJNMoyo) August 28, 2019
It was not clear how Moyo obtained the photograph, where or when it was taken.
Chiwenga has not been seen publicly since May when he was airlifted to India, reportedly in a critical condition. He returned home in June but within days, he was in a South African hospital.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, unusually, then announced that Chiwenga had been transferred to a Chinese medical facility in July in a government-to-government arrangement.
The last official update from the government, earlier this month, said a team of medical doctors from India, South Africa, Zimbabwe and China had completed tests on Chiwenga and had begun treatment for an as yet undisclosed medical problem.
Chiwenga is seen as a challenger for the presidency in the faction-ridden Zanu PF party. His recovery, his loyalists believe, could lead to a push to challenge Mnangagwa, whose rule so far has been marked by growing répression and a failing economy.