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Charamba: Retired General Chiwenga in Good Health, Receiving Medical Help in South Africa

FILE: Retired General Constantino Chiwenga at the State House for swearing in as one of two Zimbabwe's vice presidents, Harare, Dec. 28, 2017.

Vice President Chiwenga is in a South African hospital receiving treatment for injuries he suffered in a bomb blast in June this year at a Zanu PF rally in Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo.

According to the state-controlled Herald newspaper, Retired General Chiwenga is in an unnamed hospital together with his wife, Mary, who also suffered injuries in the blast which left two people dead and several senior Zanu PF officials injured. Mary is undergoing a medical review.

The Herald quoted Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, George Charamba, who is also the presidential spokesperson, as saying that Chiwenga is in good health and raring to return to Zimbabwe.

Social media was abuzz with reports that the former general has died. Charamba appeared to be dismissing these reports saying Chiwenga’s medical review indicates that he is out of danger.

“Happily, the review has been done both for the general and his wife. The president has been constantly talking to the couple on a daily basis. Equally, I also spoke to them this morning (yesterday) and besides they went with Dr. John Mangwiro, who is the Health and Child Care Deputy Minister, just to ensure that there is a Government medical official in attendance.

“They have been cleared except for some little problems that were detected and have since been treated. The VP is very well and when I chatted with him he ended up barking orders to me in respect of Kanyemba projects and in respect of the Bulawayo Kraal project in Binga.”

He said Chiwenga has a medical condition back-dating to Zimbabwe’s liberation war of the 1960s. Charamba noted that the former general was injured towards ceasefire in the Chiduku area in Hwedza and had a bullet lodged in his lung.

Chiwenga’s medical treatment in South Africa has angered many Zimbabweans who want state officials to get medical treatment in hospitals at home facing critical shortages of drugs for treating cancer, tuberculosis and other diseases.

Former president Robert Mugabe used to receive medical help in Malaysia. This did not go well with a large number of citizens, who even criticized the late opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai for seeking medical treatment in South Africa.

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