The health of vice president, Rtd General Constantino Chiwenga, has interested many in Zimbabwe. Speculation and rumours regarding his health have flooded social media platforms with many unofficially pronouncing all sorts of diagnoses and even his death.
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Officials in the government have not been clear in their communication of his ailments, and this has perhaps fuelled speculation as social media commentators fill in the void caused by poor official communication of his real condition by government.
It is suspected that Chiwenga is suffering from the effects of polonium- 210 poisoning.
Some high level sources in the defence ministry are said to have disclosed that Chiwenga was rushed to India aboard a private plane for “urgent treatment” and “tests of any possible unidentifiable poisons.” Military intelligence officials suspect the former Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) boss, could have ingested the poison administered using food by his political enemies.
Chiwenga was the military general who led a coup that ousted veteran leader Robert Mugabe in November 2017, and installed Emmerson Mnangagwa as President.
Interestingly last year a video of a woman who claimed to be Chiwenga’s relative at Pastor Alph Lukau’s church seeking Devine intervention for the Vice President caused a lot of controversy after it went viral.
The leader of Alleluia Ministries International Alph Lukau gave a prophecy regarding Chiwenga in which he stated that the Zimbabwean Vice President was critically ill and was bewitched by someone whose tail he stepped on.
The health of Chiwenga has been shrouded in secrecy, superstition and so much rumours. There are also reports that Chiwenga visited another spiritual church of the white garmented Apostolic variety. There it is said he was told to apologise to Robert Mugabe (the former president) whom Chiwenga helped to overthrow in November 2017.
Last week, ZimLive heard from government sources that Chiwenga was unable to speak as his health deteriorates. The Vice President had not eaten for a week, the sources added.
A week before being airlifted to India, Chiwenga visited a hospital in South Africa where he told doctors that his esophagus was “dry”. He told doctors he was struggling to eat, which would account for his dramatic weight loss which was evident when he attended a Cabinet meeting on February 5 – his last public sighting.
Chiwenga reportedly underwent esophageal manometry, an examination to test the strength and muscle coordination of one’s esophagus when they swallow.
“It was detected that he was having motility problems, but not cancerous. He was advised to see an esophageal surgeon,” a South African medical source said.
If Chiwenga indeed has esophageal motility, which can lead to heartburn, that would suggest mounting health woes as it adds to the other health problems he and government officials have shared publicly.
Over the last year, Chiwenga has been in and out of hospitals suffering from a range of ailments including – according to him and government officials – exhaustion, poisoning and a bullet lodged in his lungs from the war of independence 40 years ago.