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FILE PHOTO: Zimbabwe's Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga speaks at a mining investment conference in Harare, Zimbabwe, Feb. 28, 2018.

Zimbabwe’s vice president Constantino Chiwenga has left South Africa for China for medical tests to be conducted by health experts drawn from four nations, just a few days following a public announcement by President Emmerson Mnangagwa that his deputy is recovering well from an undisclosed ailment.

In a statement, presidential spokesperson George Charamba said medical experts expected to conduct the tests are from China, South Africa, India and Zimbabwe.

“Following last week’s Presidential statement on Vice President CGDN Chiwenga’s health and recovery status, the Office of the President and Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that the Vice President this week left for the People’s Republic of China where he is set to undergo further medical tests.

“His relocation to China, which builds on the satisfactory recovery progress he has been making, follows weekend discussions at the highest level between Governments of Zimbabwe and China at which a decision was taken to allow Chinese medical experts to join their counterparts from Zimbabwe, South Africa and India in attending to the Vice President.

Charamba promised that to keep the nation updated on the vice president’s health condition.

Chiwenga, who led a military intervention which subsequently resulted in the removal of Robert Mugabe from power in 2017, was reportedly afflicted with the undisclosed sickness almost two years ago.

The Zimbabwe Gems at World Cup

The Zimbabwe women’s netball team, the Gems, have ended their 2019 Vitality World Cup campaign in eighth position overall, after losing their final placing match to Uganda, 58-47.

Despite not getting the ultimate prize, which went to New Zealand after it beat the reigning Australian team, 52-51, the Gems still made history for the country, by qualifying for the second round of the competition after finishing second in a group that included reigning world champions Australia, Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka.

Although they overcame Barbados in the second round, defeats to New Zealand, Malawi, Jamaica and finally, Uganda, saw the Gems, which were the first Zimbabwe team to qualify for the World Cup, slip to eighth place.

Team captain Perpetual Siyachitema said the World Cup experience was a learning curve for the Gems, and promised that the team will perform better in the next competition, including clinching the coveted cup, if they qualify.

“I promise that we are going to fight to the end to qualify again for the World Cup. That would be the time for us to fight for the title,” said Siyachitema.

The Gems are expected to return home to a rousing welcome after exceeding expectations in the 16-team competition which featured the best netball teams from around the planet.

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