Vice President Constantino Chiwenga is recovering well from a South African hospital where he is receiving treatment, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.
Addressing a Zanu-PF Women’s League National Assembly meeting at the party headquarters, Mnangagwa said VP Chiwenga was now able to do physical exercises on his own.
Mnangagwa said he was in constant communication with Chiwenga and was gratified that he was recovering well.
“Our Vice President, Cde Chiwenga, is not feeling well. He once went to India for a fairly long time, he felt better and returned. Upon his return, he resumed his duties, but the problem recurred. We then sent him to South Africa,” said President Mnangagwa.
“That is where he is right now. I often speak to him whenever he is free. He has been a bit under the weather, but of late he has improved so much that I was pleased to note that he was now doing some exercises on his own. We are quite grateful for that development.”
The health of Chiwenga, 62, is closely followed in Zimbabwe because he is widely seen as the power behind President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the front-runner to succeed him. He led the coup that ousted long-time ruler Robert Mugabe in 2017.
Back in February a gaunt-looking Chiwenga told state television he was not dying but gave no details about his condition. Since last year, Chiwenga’s hands have been visibly swollen with discoloured skin patches.
Chiwenga was then flown to India for treatment but again did not say what he was suffering from.
Days earlier, a private daily newspaper had reported that Chiwenga had travelled to Cape Town, South Africa, for treatment, his second visit in four months at the time.
This week the Spotlight Zimbabwe website reported that Chiwenga had allegedly been poisoned during a private lunch meeting with Mnangagwa at a luxury hotel in Harare last year.
The website claims Chiwenga is battling for his life in South Africa, where he was flown for medical treatment last month. It claims the former army general was airlifted to a private hospital in Pretoria on June 23, where he is reported to be in critical condition and facing “his darkest hour”.