President Robert Mugabe has strenuously denied that his deputy, Emmerson Mnagagwa was poisoned, adding intrigue to an issue that has dominated Zanu PF and national politics for weeks.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Mnangagwa’s allies have insisted that he was poisoned at Mugabe’s rally in Gwanda about three weeks ago, but the veteran ruler said his deputy had not been a victim of poisoning.
“It was not food poisoning, no. The doctor said they tested his blood but failed to find any traces of food poisoning,” Mugabe said.
“But they are still to detect what could have caused his body to shut down in the manner it did.”
In the aftermath of the alleged poisoning, some Mnangagwa allies claimed he has eaten ice cream from Mugabe’s dairy concern.
Mnagagwa’s ally, businessman, Energy Mutodi went a step further to allege that the Vice-President had been poisoned by Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi and Health minister David Parirenyatwa, something that saw him arrested this week.
There were also allegations that Mnangagwa had been poisoned by his political foes in Zanu PF’s G40 faction.
The Vice-President then issued a statement late on Thursday, saying ice cream from Mugabe’s concern was not responsible for his ailments.
With allegations of poisoning swirling, Mugabe said Mnangagwa then brought his doctor to State House to explain to the veteran ruler that his deputy had not been poisoned.
“He wanted me to know how he suffered. Because we are close he does not hide anything from me,” Mugabe said.
“He brought his doctor to State House and we spent over an hour while the doctor explained everything to me.”
He said medical reports ruled out that Mnangagwa suffered any food poisoning.
The veteran ruler then went into uncharacteristic detail, revealing Mnangagwa’s health condition
He said Mnangagwa lost a lot of blood, had a swollen face and was fed with drips as he fought for life in a South African hospital.
Mugabe said doctors were still investigating what could have afflicted his deputy and will continue to watch him over the next two months.
He said Mnangagwa was rescued from the jaws of death and was now fit and ready to perform his duties.
Mnangagwa will also have to observe a strict healthy diet, consisting mainly of vegetables.
Mugabe again spoke out strongly about allegations of witchcraft, which came to the fore after Mnangagwa fell ill.
“Even white people did not want to hear about witchcraft, that’s why they had the Witchcraft Suppression Act. You would go to jail for accusing another of witchcraft,” he said.
First Lady Grace Mugabe was less charitable, saying those who accused her family of witchcraft were paying for their sins.
“If you insult people, who are not fighting you, then God answers for them by punishing you. You claim witchcraft, no its God,” she said.
And to cap it all, Grace donated $15 000 worth of ice cream and made sure the entire high table, including Mnangagwa and his wife, Auxillia were fed it.