JOHANNESBURG – Vice President Constantino Chiwenga and Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo remained critically ill in a South African hospital on Sunday, although a local daily quoted Information deputy Minister Energy Mutodi saying S B Moyo is back in Zimbabwe and recovering from home.
Chiwenga’s wife, Mary, was also being seen by doctors over a heart ailment.
The trio is being treated at the NetCare Pretoria East Hospital, the preferred medical facility of the eSwatini royal family.
Chiwenga, the 62-year-old former army commander who only became Vice President last November after leading a military coup against former President Robert Mugabe, has not been seen publicly since attending a Zanu PF politburo meeting on October 4.
Two days earlier, Chiwenga had left a Cabinet meeting abruptly after he began throwing up, according to government sources. In his last sighting, Chiwenga’s hands appeared swollen with the accompanying loss of skin pigmentation – a condition which he previously disclosed developed in November as he led the military putsch against Mugabe.
“It’s really desperate with him. He remains in serious danger,” a source said of Chiwenga’s condition.
Moyo, a former army general who was the face of the November coup after going on national television to announce Mugabe’s overthrow, has suffered kidney failure.
Netcare Pretoria East Hospital, a 358-bed facility, says on its website that it “offers patients access to the latest advances in medical and surgical technology, intervention and treatment across a broad spectrum of specialties.”
In June, the hospital became one of the first in Africa to use a new type of artificial urinary sphincter to treat men with severe urinary incontinence or loss of bladder control – explaining why the facility was chosen for Moyo, who was first admitted to a private Harare hospital on September 19. Moyo had been on dialysis for years, according to our sources.
The sphincter, which would help an individual on life support or one unable to naturally pass urine, is surgically implanted in a minimally invasive procedure, according to the hospital.
The hospital’s leading urologist, Dr Johan Venter, who is said to have personally initiated the addition of the technology, described it as “the gold standard of treatment for complete urinary incontinence in men who have suffered irreparable damage to the urinary sphincter.”
The government has remained mum on Chiwenga and Moyo’s health. Ndavaningi Mangwana, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information, told ZimLive the government spokesman was Acting Information Minister July Moyo, whose phone rang unanswered.
Health Minister Obadiah Moyo travelled to South Africa last week to check on the three VIP patients before briefing President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the sources added.