SPECULATION is rife over the whereabouts of Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga amid reports that he was recently airlifted out of the country for medical attention.
BY MOSES MATENGA
But presidential spokesperson George Charamba yesterday dismissed allegations that Chiwenga, who doubles up as Health minister, was out of the country on health grounds, saying that he was on a “State assignment”.
“I have responded to that authoritatively and stated that he is out of the country on a State assignment,” Charamba told NewsDay.
Since Chiwenga was admitted at a South African hospital last year for alleged poisoning, government has always denied that he is out of the country for treatment.
Chiwenga, however, has not been seen in public for weeks now and Higher and Tertiary Education minister Amon Murwira is the acting Health minister.
“He was very unwell at the end of November and he cut back on his public appearances. A decision was taken to fly him out to seek treatment,” a source told NewsDay.
Claims that Chiwenga was flown to China for medical treatment came under heavy scrutiny on social media platforms with observers and opposition parties saying that it was not fair for government officials to continue frequenting foreign hospitals while the local health system was in the doldrums.
MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said: “They systematically destroy our public health system through chronic under-funding and poor treatment of healthcare workers then they run to better managed places for their own care. The people are left at home to bear the brunt of the man-made mess.”
Ironically, Chiwenga’s estranged wife Marry Mubaiwa, who is also suffering from a serious ailment after the 2018 White City bombing incident in Bulawayo, is grounded as authorities have refused to release her passport to undergo emergency medical care outside the country.
Follow Moses on Twitter