Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Nkomo returns after treatment in SA

By Nqaba Matshazi

Vice President John Nkomo arrived Saturday from South Africa, where his family say he had gone for a regular check up, putting to rest rumours that he had died in the neighbouring country.

Emmerson Mnangagwa (centre) conversing with John Nkomo (left) and Robert Mugabe (right)
Emmerson Mnangagwa (centre) conversing with John Nkomo (left) and Robert Mugabe (right)

Nkomo arrived at 1.05pm aboard a South African Airways flight, a week after going to the neighbouring country, where he is reportedly being treated for cancer.

Passengers who travelled with the vice-president described him as frail, although saying he looked better than when he last appeared in public, at the burial of the late former army commander Solomon Mujuru.

One passenger, who said he had travelled with Nkomo on the flight to South Africa and back, said last Sunday Nkomo had walked with the support of a walking cane, but this time he was unsupported.

Nkomo’s son, Jabulani, had confirmed that his father would be back in the country yesterday, saying his family was shocked at the rumours as his father had gone for a scheduled check up in the neighbouring country.

“He has been going there for the past three or four years and this was a scheduled visit as he had gone for review,” he said. Jabulani said his father was recovering and it was unfortunate that the media and the internet were awash with the baseless rumour.

“Even if he is ill, instead of wishing him well or to recover, the media is now busy spreading baseless rumours,” he continued.

On Friday speculation was rife that Nkomo had died in South Africa but Zanu PF and his family made strenuous efforts to deny the rumour, with presidential spokesman George Charamba maintaining that the vice-president would be back in the country either yesterday or tomorrow.

Nkomo has been ill for sometime, with speculation that he had been diagnosed with cancer. He has made numerous visits to South Africa, but Jabulani said these were scheduled and there was no need to cause alarm.

The VP’s family last week had put an advert in the Bulawayo- based Chronicle newspaper congratulating him on his 77th birthday. Nkomo is not the only high- ranking official in the inclusive government battling with cancer. Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe has revealed that she has breast cancer.

Lands and Rural Resettlement minister Herbert Murerwa is also admitted at a South African hospital suffering from cancer of the colon, according to state media. Zimbabwe Standard