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Highly unlikely that VP Chiwenga has been airlifted to China

THERE are unconfirmed reports that Zimbabwe Vice President Rtd Gen Chiwenga has been airlifted to China this evening as his condition deteriorated.

This was revealed by the Children of Zimbabwe War Veterans Association via Twitter.

Said COZWVA, “Zimbabwe Vice President Rtd Gen Chiwenga has been airlifted to China this evening as his condition deteriorated.”

Zimbabwe Vice President Rtd Gen Chiwenga has been airlifted to China this evening as his condition deteriorated .

— COZWVA (@cozwva) January 23, 2021

It is highly unlikely that Chiwenga has been airlifted to China considering that he is the one who announced that the government will no longer avail foreign currency to assist cabinet ministers and other senior officials seek medical treatment in state-of-the-art health facilities outside Zimbabwe.

Speaking in his capacity as Health Minister Monday, Chiwenga told the media that the state had stopped footing the medical bills of all senior government officials in order to maintain the national medical bill.

He also promised to improve conditions of service for public health workers who have been on strike demanding better salaries and working conditions.

“We will not export our patients. We will not make referrals to our patients. It is everybody, ministers. Those who have been going out it is you and me. Is it not it? Altogether but that export bill was too high and that is what we want to do away with,” he said.

“Zimbabwe has a national medical bill that is high. It is, therefore, imperative that the country develops a method of containing the import bill through health care innovations for import substitution.

“This entails inverting the import bill burden into export receipts either in part or most importantly in the whole. This will improve the funding of the national health care system.

“We will have hospitals that will specialise in different treatment services across the country. We are restructuring from the village health worker right up to the top hospital.”

Senior government officials including Mnangagwa and his two vice-presidents, Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi are well-known for travelling outside the country to receive treatment following years of neglect of the Zimbabwe public system.

During Zanu PF’s factional fights in 2017, Mnangagwa was airlifted to South Africa, following reports he was “poisoned” at the ruling party’s rally in Gwanda.

Chiwenga this year used a chartered flight several times to travel to China for medical check-ups as he battles chronic ailment that has seen him in and out of the hospital.

Mohadi and Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri were in 2018 also airlifted to South Africa to receive treatment for injuries sustained during a bomb blast at a Zanu campaign rally in Bulawayo.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa this week ordered Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga to take a rest after the former army general appeared overwhelmed due to overworking and losing relatives to COVID-19.

This was revealed by Presidential spokesperson George Charamba while explaining why the Acting President was conspicuous by his absence at the burial of the late Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Ellen Gwaradzimba and liberation icon Morton Malianga at the National Heroes’ Acre on Thursday. 🔺

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