By Gift Phiri
Zanu PF national chairperson Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri has been airlifted to South Africa for reconstruction surgery after her breast was ripped off when an explosion rocked an election campaign rally addressed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Bulawayo last Saturday.
Vice President Kembo Mohadi was also airlifted to the neighbouring country a day earlier —Tuesday — after he was also injured in the bomb blast.
Mohadi and the Environment, Climate and Water minister were among 49 people injured at the rally, the first of a whistle-stop tour by 75-year-old Mnangagwa in his electoral campaign for key presidential, parliamentary, municipal elections on July 30.
They were rushed to the Catholic-run Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo and then evacuated to Manyame Airbase Hospital along with other VVIPs who sustained injuries during the explosion, in which Mnangagwa was lucky to escape unhurt.
While it is being officially reported that Muchinguri-Kashiri sustained injuries to her chest, the Daily News can exclusively report that the 59-year-old top Zanu PF official actually got one of her breasts ripped off.
“It’s actually the breast not chest,” a senior authoritative establishment official told the Daily News, while revealing she was airlifted to South Africa on Wednesday. “It’s not a small matter. Mai Muchinguri is in shock and in bad shape.”
David Parirenyatwa, the Health and Child Care minister, confirmed yesterday that she sustained injuries to her breast, but downplayed her condition.
“She had a penetrating injury, lacerations of her left breast. She is in good condition,” Parirenyatwa told the Daily News.
Asked why she was airlifted to South Africa if she did not have potentially life-changing injuries, he said: “She may have gone for further assessment by her own doctors.”
The Daily News understands that Muchinguri-Kashiri was due to undergo complex orthopaedic, and burn reconstructive surgery at a South Africa hospital, and will also receive psychological care and counselling during her stay.
Physical ailments can seriously affect mental health, experts say.
In the wake of the bombing, there are searing images emerging giving a shocking reminder of the brutality and heart-breaking consequences of the attack.
The Daily News understands that Mohadi was airlifted to South Africa on Tuesday. He was part of the injured VVIPs who were first rushed to Mater Dei Hospital before being evacuated to Manyame Hospital.
A facility situated in Harare, Manyame Hospital is the principal air force establishment, providing facilities for aircraft squadrons of differing roles, training schools for technicians, staff and academic training and security dog handlers.
While Mohadi — who sustained leg injuries in the bombing — was said to be in a stable condition, physicians were reportedly having problems managing his hard-to-control hypertension, colloquially called “blood pressure” or BP in Zimbabwe and to administer a treatment regimen that does not raise cardiovascular risks.
“Yes, the injuries are significant and our real worry is that he has blood pressure, and that makes interventions quite problematic but we hope all will come right.
“The amazing thing is he was joking about his own condition,” a senior official who visited the VP in hospital told the Daily News.
A bodyguard for Marry Chiwenga, the wife of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, was also said to be in critical condition, with shrapnel almost disembowelling her stomach.
Marry has since been discharged from hospital, together with Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Zanu PF women’s league boss Mabel Chinomona, who sustained “a lot of lacerations”.
Zanu PF national political commissar, Retired Lt General Engelbert Rugeje, has also been discharged from hospital.
“Rugeje, a typical soldier, had a medical procedure done on him and the shrapnel was removed from his left arm,” the top official with access to military facilities said.
The shrapnel might come in handy during the investigations as ballistics experts are capable of knowing just by looking at that piece of metal which country it is coming from, the nature of the device, and who would have normally had such materials.
Two people succumbed to their injuries on Monday.
Health officials are warning the death toll could rise because some of the wounded are in critical condition.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the bombing, but Mnangagwa has claimed a Zanu PF cabal purged in the military coup linked to the wife of his predecessor Robert Mugabe masterminded the attack although investigations are still underway.
The investigation into the White City Stadium atrocity has continued apace as security agencies swooped on the scene of the crime although no arrests have been reported by police.
General election campaigning has got back underway nationally, with all parties continuing campaigning for the July 30 national contest. DailyNews