By NQOBANI NDLOVU
Opposition Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa, who has been unwell since November last year, was on Monday airlifted to India for medical attention over an undisclosed ailment, party officials said yesterday.
Dabengwa, who has not been seen in public in months, has been in neighbouring South Africa since November, seeking medical attention.
Party insiders said the former Home Affairs minister underwent a surgical operation in that country and has since been in and out of hospital for observation.
Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa confirmed Dabengwa’s hospitalisation in India over failing health.
“The trip, that was planned since he was in South Africa a few months ago, finally materialised on Monday when he left Bulawayo, flying through Harare to India where his doctors secured better facilities from their counterparts in that country,” Maphosa said yesterday.
“This happens as the liberation war and Zimbabwe’s development hero often complained of fatigue, owing to his condition.”
Most Zimbabweans are being forced to seek medical attention in foreign lands as the country’s health delivery system has shown no sign of recovery.
Dilapidated infrastructure, lack of machinery and drugs, brain drain and inhibitive costs are some of the challenges bedevilling the health sector.
Dabengwa has not been active in Zapu politics, and has revealed plans to step down from the leadership at the party’s upcoming congress.
In July 2017, he unveiled the Dumiso Dabengwa Foundation, a non-profit organisation that seeks to, among others, push for restorative justice for the Gukurahundi and political violence victims in the country since 1980, in what he said were his first steps of moving away from active politics.
The foundation also seeks to carry out a number of developmental and humanitarian projects to help mitigate shortcomings in areas of human capital development, promotion of democracy and constitutionalism, leadership, governance and the welfare of ex-combatants.