Zimbabwe VP In China For Medical Check

Workers wearing protective suits as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus pull passengers luggage at the New China International Exhibition Centre, near Beijing Capital Airport in Beijing on March 16, 2020. China tightened quarantine measures for international arrivals as the country worries about a rise in imported cases of the deadly coronavirus and anger rages online at how Europe and the United States are handling the pandemic. NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP.

 

Zimbabwe’s vice president Constantino Chiwenga was flown at the weekend to China for medical checks, an official said Tuesday.

Presidential spokesman George Charamba told AFP Chiwenga, a former army general who led President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s rise to power following a brief military takeover in 2017, “flew back to China for his medical checkup”.

Chiwenga spent four months undergoing treatment in China last year and returned home in November.

Charamba said Chiwenga had suffered from fatigue in recent days explaining his absence from a function attended by top government officials at Mnangagwa’s farm.

“He was feeling a bit indisposed but he was quite cheerful when he left for China on Sunday,” he said.

Chiwenga, 64, was admitted in a South African hospital last year for a constricted oesophagus. He was later transferred to India when his condition deteriorated before being airlifted to China in July for further medical tests.

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His return to China comes as the Asian nation is battling to contain the coronavirus which surfaced there last December and became a pandemic.

Mnangagwa last week ordered a ban on foreign trips by government officials to avoid importing the pathogen.

Zimbabwe has not reported any cases of COVID-19 but a British tourist who recently visited Zimbabwe tested positive after he left the country, according to Health Minister Obadiah Moyo.

The country’s health system is in a state of disrepair with shortages of critical machinery and drugs and often short-staffed.

Those who can afford often seek medical treatment abroad especially neighbouring South Africa.

AFP

Zimbabwe VP’s Wife In Court On Attempted Murder, Fraud Charges

 

The wife of Zimbabwe’s vice president was remanded in custody on Monday after appearing in court to face charges of fraud, money-laundering and attempted murder of her husband.

Marry Mubaiwa, 38, who is the wife of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, was arrested by Zimbabwe’s anti-graft commission on Saturday.

She was initially detained on suspicion of contravening the country’s exchange control act and of fraud.

Mubaiwa appeared in a Harare court on Monday and was held pending a December 30 hearing. She did not speak at the court but her attorney told local media they would apply for bail.

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Prosecutors said between 2018 and May this year, Mubaiwa withdrew amounts of from her foreign currency account in Zimbabwe to deposit into bank accounts in neighbouring South Africa under the pretext of paying for goods bought in that country.

She allegedly used part of the money to buy a house in the Waterkloof Golf Estate in the South African capital Pretoria and two luxury cars.

Prosecutors accuse Mubaiwa, a businesswoman and former model, of attempted murder while she accompanied her husband when he was airlifted for medical attention in South Africa.

In South Africa she allegedly took the ailing Chiwenga to a hotel, refusing to take him to hospital until his aides forced their way and took him to a clinic.

Prosecutors said “with intent to cause serious harm,” Mubaiwa went to Chiwenga’s hospital ward and asked his security aides to leave saying she wanted to have a private conversation with her husband.

Alone with the bedridden Chiwenga, Mubaiwa allegedly removed an intravenous line and a catheter from Chiwenga causing him to bleed profusely, the prosecution said.

“The accused then forced the complainant off his bed and took him by the hand and started walking out of the ward before being intercepted by the security personnel at the door,” the charge sheet for attempted murder count said.

Chiwenga, who led the ouster of long-time ruler Robert Mugabe, went to South Africa to seek emergency medical attention for an undisclosed ailment, before being transferred to a Chinese hospital from where he was discharged late November.

On his arrival he was welcomed by China’s deputy ambassador to Harare while his wife Marry was absent. There was also not a welcome ceremony held for Chiwenga at his rural home.

AFP

Zimbabwe VP Returns After Months Of Medical Care In China

At Least 31 Dead As Cyclone Idai Hits Eastern Zimbabwe

 

Zimbabwe’s Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who led the ousting of Robert Mugabe, returned home Saturday, four months after he was airlifted to China for medical care, state media reported.

Chiwenga, 63, who is seen as a major power-broker in Zimbabwean politics, had been in and out of hospital since the start of this year.

In July, the government said he was being flown to China for “further tests” after he had been hospitalised in neighbouring South Africa.

His ailment has not been disclosed.

Zimbabwe’s public health services have practically collapsed and more than 400 doctors have been sacked in recent weeks after they stopped going to work saying their salaries – decimated by hyperinflation – were not even enough for the commute to hospitals.

Those Zimbabweans who can afford it seek treatment in South Africa or elsewhere.

Ex-president Robert Mugabe died in September in Singapore where he had been receiving treatment for five months.

Chiwenga was welcomed back by the Chinese deputy ambassador to Harare Zhao Baogang, according to state broadcaster ZBC.

A video clip of his airport arrival shared on social media, showed no senior government official among the delegation receiving him when he stepped off a Chinese aircraft.

The then army chief led the military takeover that ended Mugabe’s 37-year rule in 2017.

Mugabe, Army Chiefs Hold Further Talks

Army General Constantino Chiwenga Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence and President Robert Mugabe. Photo: Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP

President Robert Mugabe and the army chiefs who have seized power in Zimbabwe met for further talks Sunday, state media said, as pressure builds on the veteran leader to resign.

“President Robert Mugabe this afternoon met with Zimbabwe Defence Forces Generals at State House,” the Herald said on its Twitter feed, accompanied by photographs.

The images showed Mugabe, who wore a black suit, white shirt, and red tie, with his hand to his head and deep in conversation with senior security officials. They included army chief Constantino Chiwenga who led the military takeover earlier this week.

Mugabe’s grip on power was broken by the intervention of the military, angered at his wife Grace’s emergence as the leading candidate to succeed the 93-year-old president.

On Saturday, tens of thousands of overjoyed demonstrators flooded the streets of Zimbabwe in peaceful celebrations marking the apparent end of his long and authoritarian rule.

AFP