LATEST : Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa In South African Hospital

Vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa became suddenly ill at a youth rally addressed by President Robert Mugabe in Gwanda, a small town 130km south of second city Bulawayo. And that he was, on Saturday night, flown to hospital in South Africa on a Zimbabwe Airforce plane.

One of his close political associates, Josiah Hungwe was also reportedly ill.

Well connected sources in Zimbabwe say Mnangagwa may have contracted food poisoning earlier in the day.

Others, concerned at the faction fighting within Zanu PF about who will succeed Mugabe when he dies, speculated that Mnangagwa had been poisoned.

This drama – playing out on unofficial media late on Saturday – comes after a difficult week for Mnnangagwa after a Facebook site, known as First TV,  published a 72-minute propaganda video compiled by one of Mnangagwa’s enemies, tertiary education minister Jonathan Moyo.

Moyo, backed by first lady Grace Mugabe and Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, appears to detest Mnangagwa. The video footage created by journalists who previously worked for Moyo on state-controlled newspapers make many allegations against Mnangagwa.

The video made many accusations against Mnangagwa and was recently presented to the Zanu PF politburo. Mnangagwa has not responded to the allegations.

He has long been associated – along with Mugabe and one or two other currently serving ministers – of being behind the massacres of thousands of opposition supporters from 1983. The opposition was then lead by liberation war hero, Joshua Nkomo, who had to escape Zimbabwe at that time to avoid being assassinated.

Many cabinet ministers have been accused of violence over the years, but Mnangagwa, who has served Mugabe one way or another for more then 50 years, was security minister during those massacres in the Matabeleland provinces from 1983 – 1987.

Mnangagwa  and some colleagues within Mugabe’s present cabinet are also accused of violence against the opposition Movement for Democratic Change which saw hundreds killed, thousands tortured and arrested especailly in the first eight years after it was launched late 1999.

Many businessmen in Zimbabwe say privately they would like to see Mnangagwa succeed Mugabe as leader because they say he understands business.

Some say he has been enriched by private dealings in gold and other minerals. But all ministers, including Moyo are widely accused of various acts of corruption.

Aides claimed an assassination attempt on Mnangagwa in Gwanda after he started complaining of massive chest pains, while sitting at the high table, shortly after having a meal with other high level government delegates.

Emmerson Mnangagwa began vomiting blood and lost consciousness. He was first taken to Gwanda Hospital for treatment before “a suspicious and worried” army general Constantine Chiwenga intervened by directing that an airforce helicopter take him to Claybank Hospital in Gweru instead.

“Private Flight ZS- SRU departed to Lanseria with VP ED MNANGAGWA in the company of wife Auxillia MNANGAGWA, E D MNANGAGWA Jnr, Marry MUBAIWA, wife to CDF CHIWENGA, Charles MPANDUKI and Dr CHIMEDZA. The flight departed from Manyame Air Base.”

“He is stable and well. But military is not taking any chances. So they want tests done to ascertain exactly what poison was used,” the source told us.

Dr Paul Chimedza is a politician cum medical doctor who was sacked from government in December 2014 as the deputy minister of Health. He was at the time accused of supporting a faction of the party that was backing then Vice President Joice Mujuru’s presidential ambitions.

Lanseria International Airport is a privately owned international airport that is situated north of Randburg and Sandton to the north west of Johannesburg, South Africa. The airport can handle aircraft up to the size of the Boeing 757-300.

 

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