Mnangagwa flown to SA

HARARE - Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa was airlifted to South Africa for emergence treatment yesterday after the 75-year-old politician fell ill suddenly while attending President Robert Mugabe’s sixth youth interface rally held at Pelandaba Stadium in Gwanda, the Daily News can report.

The politician – who has the distinction of having survived the gallows on two occasions during the brutal liberation struggle – was first flown to a private hospital in Gweru owned by Premier Services Medical Investments to stabilise his condition, before being moved to Thornhill Airbase, for security reasons.

He had to be flown to South Africa yesterday aboard a private jet operated by Star-Up of Peru, whose flight code was given as ZS-SRU.

Mnangagwa was flown to Lanseria International Airport – a privately-owned airport situated north of Randburg and Sandton to the north west of Johannesburg – which has the historical significance of being an airstrip where the iconic Nelson Mandela (now late) was flown to upon being released from prison in 1990 after serving for 27 years.

From Lanseria, he was said to have been taken to a Johannesburg private hospital where he is currently receiving specialist treatment 24/7, as close family members felt the Zanu PF second secretary needed access to medical facilities which are much more advanced than those found on the northern side of the Limpopo River.

Widely regarded as Mugabe’s most likely successor, Mnangagwa had complained of stomach cramps while seated in the VVIP tent as the Zanu PF leader, who has ruled his country since independence in 1980, was addressing thousands of ruling party supporters in the Matabeleland South capital on Saturday.

He later started vomiting, amid suspicions of food poisoning in the wake of the dog-eat-dog infighting which has erupted in Zanu PF over Mugabe’s successions.

Although Mnangagwa initially received first aid treatment from Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa — the vomiting continued – and the army had to dispatch a helicopter to ferry him to Claybank Hospital in Windsor Park, Gweru.

According to eyewitnesses who were at the rally at Pelandaba Stadium built in the mid-1970s by the then Gwanda Rural District Council, Mnangagwa had excused himself twice to visit the bathroom before he was eventfully taken to hospital.

“When he (Mnangagwa) arrived at Pelandaba Stadium, he sat for less than 10 minutes in the VVIP tent. In a hurry, he went to the restrooms where he spent 20 or so minutes. He came back and briefly followed the proceedings before he rushed to the bathroom for the second time where he again spent close to 20 minutes,” narrated an eyewitness.

“At that stage, he did not return to the tent. In fact, his aides came back and reported to State security minister Kembo Mohadi, and Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko that all did not appear to be well with the VP.

“Mphoko then instructed Parirenyatwa to attend to the VP saying he had heard he was not feeling well. After attending to him briefly, Mnangagwa was taken to an ambulance and Parirenyatwa went with him to Gweru,” added the eyewitness.

After receiving emergence treatment at Claybank Hospital in Gweru, Mnangagwa was taken to a military-run clinic at Thornhill Air Base – one of the two main air bases for the Air Force of Zimbabwe.

While at Thornhill, security chefs – for long regarded as allies of the feared politician – were not comfortable with him spending the night there as they needed to first eliminate suspicions that Mnangagwa’s rivals wanted to finish him off. As a result, Mnangagwa spent the night on Saturday under heavy guard.

Psychomotor minister Josiah Hungwe, a close ally of Mnangagwa, narrated to the Daily News how the Vice President started complaining of stomach pains at Pelandaba Stadium.

“I was the first one to complain of stomach pains and I told him that I was having a problem. He later complained of stomach aches as well and at that point I just know that he left but I don’t know what happened after that,” said Hungwe.

Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo, was not taking questions from the media yesterday, saying whatever was happening to the Vice President was a “family matter”.

When Mnangagwa was flown to South Africa yesterday, he was accompanied by his wife, Auxillia, his son Emmerson (Junior) and Mary Chiwenga – wife of Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander, Constantino Chiwenga.

Mnangagwa had started his day normally on Saturday.

He was among top government officials who attended the official opening of Jahunda Community Information Centre by Mugabe.

As the dignitaries arrived at the event, Mphoko and Mnangagwa did not shake hands.

And as the event progressed, the Daily News witnessed two youths clad in Zanu PF regalia heading for the VVIP stand where Mnangagwa was seated next to Mugabe, with Information Communication Technology minister Supa Mandiwanzira and Mphoko seated on the other side.

The two Zanu PF youths who were carrying bottled water, first saved Mnangagwa and Mandiwanzira before progressing to Mugabe and Mphoko.

At that point, Mnangagwa looked strong and fit.

After the launch of the information centre, Mandiwanzira asked senior government officials including the two VPs to leave the venue first so as to ensure that they would be at Pelandaba Stadium in time to receive Mugabe.

At the youth interface rally, Mnangagwa appeared strong as he chanted his popular pasi nemhandu (down with our enemy) slogan.

However, about 40 minutes into Mugabe’s speech, all hell the broke loose.

Mnangagwa’s allies were yesterday pointing accusing fingers at their rivals, the Generation 40 faction that is resistant to his presidential bid.

In the past, there have been six break-ins at Mnangagwa’s offices with his allies saying those were plots to eliminate him.

In 2015, some burglars also tried to break into his offices, while on another occasion a leather sofa in the office was tampered with — and surprisingly, it is not clear on all these accounts what the motive was.

In addition, State media reported two years ago that Mnangagwa had been involved in a car accident with a bus in Harare, in a case that his supporters claimed was an attempt on his life.

And when his party offices at the Zanu PF headquarters was broken into in December 2014, Mugabe was quoted saying he was aware “of people who really want to harm us, physical harm also”.

Zimbabwe’s health facilities are currently struggling with antiquated equipment due to years of underfunding, while demoralised personnel manning them often complain of low salaries and poor working conditions.

The situation is even worse for public hospitals, which cater for the majority of the country’s poor population.

The well-heeled only access local hospitals for minor illnesses, while their destination is either South Africa or India for serious health matters, with those who can afford it spending the top dollar to access treatment in Europe and the Far East.

MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai is currently receiving treatment for colon cancer in South Africa, while Mugabe has on three occasions this year been to Singapore for “routine medical check-ups”.

Mugabe and his administration face heavy criticism from their rivals for presiding over the collapse of the country’s infrastructure, which they inherited from the Ian Smith regime in a very competitive state.

Comments (11)

Please use all the tricks you got to eliminate each other, each and every one of you. Honest, hardworking Zimbabweans are tired of all of you zanu people.

misty - 14 August 2017

Please pliz dont try to draw our attention for the unneccessary you Zanuids, we are sick and tire d of all this nonsense. We don wanna hear all your foolish activities, what we want is a better Zimbabwe, being ill or, who cares nxaa

a - 14 August 2017

Yaah that is the only way these dogs will varnish.They must eliminate each ather so that the people of Zimbabwe can have their life back,,&don't forget Bob again

Matsotsi - 14 August 2017

Mugabe at it again, when is he going to be tried as well by his own blood thirsty mafias. Mugabe is the creator of all these problems. Namwari o lets face Mugabe for answers of all those murders and attempted murders because this cant be left to go on. who is behind all these killings. It's not a ZANU PF issue, its a national issue and it's a serious crime to attempt, kill or plan to do so. It's high time we stop the real murderer.

Ziziharinanyanga - 14 August 2017

Unlike Tongo he has received enough of signals of what´s likely to cook in the next chapter. If he did not learn anything at Tongo or Solo then he can only blame himself. In Zanu you either shoot first or else you finished -especially after being used for a lifetime.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 14 August 2017

October is coming still. I believe in Mugadza`s prophecy 1000 %.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 14 August 2017

Something does not add up here. 1st Bob goes to Singa pole, comes back and say the doctors were surprised by his energy levels and all was well. Remember Bob is always secretive about his health and Singa Pole visits. 2nd Grace wants him to name a successor, which she knows very well Bob has always said he would not do. 3rd Bob suggests an additional VP. 4th Munangagwa gets poisoned. Based on these facts I would say all is not well in the state house. The doctors in Singa Pole shared some news with the 1st family that the first family is not sharing with us. why the sudden rush? Bob does not want a 3rd VP he wants to get rid of Ngwena and it has become urgent.

Auto - 15 August 2017

@Auto, I think you have a point there. The sudden turn of events clearly point to some emergency in the First Family. @Mugadza's prophecy could be fulfilled and the First Family might have been told the same in Singapore or something close to that. Its unfortunate this suspected ELIMINATION method as you propose had to be the best option for them. My appeal to those UP there is not to create civil war because it seems the number of power hungry people who have become impatient has gotten too high. Mr President, in as much as the party has always been appointing you as its leader, you should have told them USHE madzoro hunoravanwa, we wouldn't in this kind chaos. If there could have been some power sharing and kuchinjana, there would ave been no factions in the beloved party.

Madirativhange - 15 August 2017

So us taxpayers will foot the bill for the airlift entourage and upkeep in SA!!!???

Sinyo - 15 August 2017

Who is going to fly ordinary citizens to SA when the fall sick?

Mentalist - 15 August 2017

Whilst some govt ministers in other countries work hard to develop their infra structure, the vultures in Zimbabwe build 50 bedroomed mansions etc and then have to be flown to better-developed countries for treatment when they fall sick. These are the people we call "leaders" in this country, developing your little yard when the whole country is becoming a desert. Shameful.

Sagitarr - 16 August 2017

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.