Chiwenga ill, airlifted to China


The Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF), Constantine Chiwenga, is not well and has been airlifted to China for treatment.

The Minister of Defence, Emmerson Mnangagwa, on Thursday confirmed to NewsDay that the army chief had gone to China for medical attention.

“Yes, I can confirm that Chiwenga went to China to seek medical treatment,” said Mnangagwa. “He will be coming back into the country tomorrow (Friday).”

However, Mnangagwa refused to confirm reports doing the rounds that when Chiwenga was airlifted, his condition was critical.

“What I know is that he had gone for medical checkups, we all go for medical checkups. Don’t you go for routine medical checkups yourself?” said Mnangagwa.

It is not clear what Chiwenga is suffering from.

But, impeccable sources revealed to NewsDay that the army chief had eight days ago fallen seriously ill and was immediately airlifted to China.

The sources said the Air Force of Zimbabwe Commander, Air Marshal Perence Shiri, is the acting Commander of the ZDF.

Chiwenga was on Thursday absent from the burial of CIO boss Mernard Muzariri, and he has of late not appeared in public.

In a eulogy to the late Muzariri at the Heroes’ Acre on Thursday, President Robert Mugabe went to great lengths describing to mourners how some heroic characters, including current serving members of the ZDF, were battling illnesses incurred from injuries sustained during the struggle for independence.

“A lot of people incurred permanent mortal internal injuries during the war of liberation and some still suffer from different diseases, but we are happy that many escaped and are those we believe would fight the enemy,” said President Mugabe.