By Staff Reporter
Political temperatures within Zanu PF rose on Saturday morning after a fresh looking Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga arrived back in Zimbabwe from China where he spent four months receiving ‘life-saving’ medical treatment after he was airlifted from South Africa in July.
The main talking point however was that no government officials came to welcome him back.
Chiwenga was welcomed by elder brother Onisimo and Son Tawanda at RG Mugabe International Airport in Harare, this morning, Nov 23, 2019. Also there were some close relatives, security details and the Chinese Deputy Ambassador to Zimbabwe.
Exiled former Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo highlighted this on Twitter;
“General Chiwenga is back & looking fit. He was received at RGM Airport in Harare early this morning by Chinese Deputy Ambassador, Zhao Baogang. While @ZimpapersI were on duty to capture the arrival, no govt or Zanu PF officials were seen save for Chiwenga’s relatives & security!”
Twitter user Fox Lion noted: “Prof- this is a Chinese Aircraft-B737. The journey takes more than 16 hrs non-stop. This medium aircraft will land at least thrice before arriving in Zim. Something is amiss. Seems his life is guaranteed by the Chinese. We will see how it goes. Keep us posted.”
The weekly Zimbabwe Independent newspaper on Friday reported that tension was rising within the ruling party ahead of Chiwenga’s imminent arrival back and the party’s looming annual conference that comes on the back of President Emmerson Mnangagwa having reshuffled his cabinet.
Most political commentators believe Mnangagwa took advantage of Chiwenga’s prolonged absence whilst in China to purge all perceived allies of the Vice President from posts in cabinet and in the influential State Security Services. The final nail would have been to remove Chiwenga as VP.
On the same day the privately owned Daily News newspaper reported that there was concern for Mnangagwa’s safety after one of the soldiers guarding the president at State House fired 30 shots into the air before he was apprehended as he was about to reload his gun.
According to a report by the paper, the soldier identified as ‘‘Private Mugadu’’ has been detained and taken in for a psychiatric examination. The paper quoted a source who said;
“Without any warning, the soldier pumped 30 shots into the air, sending many people into panic before some brave soldiers close to him managed to apprehend him as he was reloading his gun.”
“The incident took place on Tuesday afternoon and I understand that the soldier is currently detained. This young man has a troubled history and once said that he wanted to resign after serving three years, because it is allowed in the army.
“In fact, there were 10 of them who wanted to do that at the time, who took their letters to Commanding Officer Samson Murombo — who, however, allegedly tore up their letters,” the source told the paper.
A separate source claims “Mugadu was apprehended, and taken to the Presidential Guard headquarters, where he was interrogated by its commander, Brigadier-General Mhonda — with the two men apparently engaging in a fist fight.”
“He (Mugadu) accused his superiors … of living it up while the rank and file were suffering. As of yesterday (Thursday), he was said to be no longer co-operating — insisting on seeing the president or the Defence Forces commander (General Philip Valerio Sibanda).
“He has a history of mental health problems which is said to have been detected when he was about 15. He also has a 23-year-old brother who is also said to be mentally ill.
“Among the things he said was that even if he was silenced, there were more soldiers with similar feelings like him,” yet another source told the paper.
The Spotlight Zimbabwe website this month sensationally claimed that Chiwenga’s military generals who were key in executing the November 2017 coup against President Robert Mugabe, have declared war on Mnangagwa, and are a step closer in launching another military operation to relieve him of his duties. Nehanda Radio