A gaunt-looking Chiwenga was last seen in public last Tuesday, when he told state television he was not dying but gave no details about his condition. Since last year, Chiwenga’s hands have been visibly swollen with discoloured skin patches.
Information deputy minister Energy Mutodi said on Twitter Chiwenga “is recovering well from some minor abdominal ailment in Delhi, India.” He declined to make further comment.
His tweet was ridiculed by citizens in a country where government officials routinely seek medical help abroad while the public health system has collapsed and hospitals struggle to provide medicines to patients.
ZimLive.com, an online news agency, reported last Thursday that Chiwenga had been flown to India for treatment but did not say what he was suffering from.
Days earlier, a private daily newspaper had reported that Chiwenga had travelled to Cape Town, South Africa, for treatment, his second visit in four months.
Mnangagwa has dismissed rumours of a rift with Chiwenga. These gathered momentum after Mnangagawa promised action in response to a brutal security crackdown carried out against protesters last month while the president was abroad. Chiwenga was acting president at that time.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)