Zimbabwe’s vice president, Constantini Chiwenga, has gone to China to get treatment for some undisclosed ailment, a few months after he banned what her termed health tourism.
According to an online publication, ZimLive, Chiwenga, who was in China for more than six months last where he received medical help, was flown to that country on an unknown date a few days ago.
ZimLive quoted an unidentified government source as saying Chiwenga has been unwell since the end of November as he cut back his public appearances due to ill-health.
The publication reports that the Zimbabwean government decided to “fly him out to seek treatment” after noticing that he needed urgent medical care.
Presidential spokesperson, George Charamba, who told the publication that Chiwenga was on a state assignment outside the country, was not responding to calls on his mobile phone.
Early this year, Chiwenga publicly declared that he had banned health tourism as it was a drain in the country’s fiscus.
He was quoted by the state-controlled Herald newspaper as saying, “We will not export our patients. We will not make referrals (to foreign medical facilities) for our patients. It’s everybody … Ministers are only about 20 but those who have been going out it’s you, you, me, altogether. That export bill was too high and that’s what we want to curtail. We want to do away with that …”
Meanwhile, his estranged wife, Mary Chiwenga, who is said to be suffering from severe lymphoedema, recently appeared in court in a stretcher and appealed to the state to release her passport to seek medical help outside the country.