Zimbabwean Co-Minister of Home Affairs Theresa Makone has denied sustaining a stroke this week amid reports she was involved in an altercation at a Sunday rally of the Movement for Democratic Change attended by party president and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
The Daily News quoted MDC spokesman Douglas Mwonzora as saying Makone was admitted to a Harare clinic after suffering a mild stroke one day after the rally. The newspaper said some MDC members accused Makone of trying to impose her “loyalists” on them.
Some party members have been calling for Makone's dismissal from her ministerial post ever since she accompanied Didymus Mutasa, the ZANU-PF presidential affairs minister, to a police station in July 2010 in search of his son who had been arrested.
Makone has nominal authority over the police as Home Affairs co-minister, but observers say her ZANU-PF co-minister, Kembo Mohadi, exerts greater control - though some consider Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri to be a law unto himself.
Makone told VOA reporter Violet Gonda that she has a history of high blood pressure and had forgotten to take her medicine when she travelled to Mutare for the rally.
She admitted going to a trauma center in Harare a day after the rally when she felt very weak and tired, but maintained that doctors told her she was "as fit as a fiddle."
She scoffed at the notion that she might be dismissed. “If someone is harboring any expectations of my dismissal then they will be waiting a very long time because this woman works, make no mistake about it," Makone said.
Reached for comment, MDC spokesman Mwonzora said he regretted telling the newspaper that Makone had suffered a stroke, but said this was what medical sources had told him.