Controversy surrounds Mzembi’s health
By Shamiso Dzingire
former Foreign Affairs minister Walter Mzembi’s lawyer Job Sikhala has told the courts that his client is “seriously indisposed” in the neighbouring South Africa, a video showing the former Tourism minister fit as fiddle has emerged and has since gone viral on various social media platforms.
Mzembi is facing various corruption-related charges which are pending at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts. The video emerged on Saturday after social media was awash with rumours that Mzembi had died.
In the 21 seconds video, Mzembi is shown in an office set up while speaking on the cell phone.
A voice of another man is heard on the background saying: “Vese varikutoti afa vachabhadhara gore rino shuwa.”
In an interview with the Daily News yesterday, Sikhala discredited the authenticity of the video, suggesting that it was captured while Mzembi was still Tourism minister.
He said the voice in the background was superimposed by some “inventors” and insisted that Mzembi is sick.
“He is seriously indisposed but not dead,” Sikhala told the Daily News.
A warrant of arrest was issued against Mzembi on November 26 last year after he missed his court date. Sikhala told the court that Mzembi was diagnosed with colon cancer in June 2017 and said he was undergoing chemotherapy till last month.
Last Monday, Sikhala told a regional magistrate that Mzembi may not be “fit to stand trial in the near future” and pleaded with the courts to pray for him. He said his client, who was supposed to appear for trial commencement was not in wilful default as circumstances are beyond his control.
He told the court that he made personal efforts and flew to South Africa where Mzembi is seeking treatment to assess his condition for himself.
“I flew to South Africa over the weekend. Based on what I saw, he is seriously indisposed to stand trial,” Sikhala told the court.
He added: “Through my eye witness, he will not be able to stand trial in the near future. I urge the State to join us in prayer. We want to dispose of this matter but his health is of utmost importance.” DailyNews