If the information disclosed to Spotlight Zimbabwe reporters by military sources is true General Chiwenga is left with less than 140 days to live.
The poison can kill its victim within a period six days but can stay in the system for 140 days or slightly more and the damage it causes is irreversible, even after surging for more than 140 days the victims of polonium ingestion are likely to die.
Polonium-210’sphysical half life is 140 days. This means that half its radioactivity dies away in this time.
Its biological half life is 40 days, so it takes 40 days for biological processes to eliminate half of the Polonium-210 in the body.
Polonium radiation destroys DNA and can lead to cell death and cancer. Polonium-210 is a known carcinogen. When inhaled, it causes lung cancer. When swallowed, it becomes concentrated in red blood cells, before spreading to the liver, kidneys, bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract, and the testicles
Polonium-210 is the deadly poison that was used to kill the former Russian spy, Alexander Litvinenko, in London in 2006. He died of radiation sickness.
Litvinenko is alleged to have swallowed a fatal dose of Po-210 by drinking tea at a business meeting with two other Russians. Both were charged with his murder.
This incident is thought to have exposed 700 people to radiation, although none became seriously ill. Some locations in London, including a restaurant and nightclub, were temporarily closed as a safety measure.