Vice President and Health and Childcare Minister Constantino Chiwenga has been flown to China for treatment, a government source revealed to ZimLive.com.
Chiwenga has not been seen publicly for over a week since his pre-recorded speeches delivered during virtual World Aids Day commemorations on December 1.
On that day, he did not attend a cabinet meeting and since then, Higher Education Minister Amon Murwira has been the Acting Health Minister. A government official told ZimLive.com
He was very unwell at the end of November, and he cut back on his public appearances. A decision was taken to fly him out to seek treatment.
The spokesman for the presidency, George Charamba, said Chiwenga had visited an unnamed country on a “state assignment.”
In September, after being appointed Health Minister, Chiwenga said the government had banned medical trips abroad by Zimbabweans which he said were draining the country of scarce foreign currency. He said:
We will not export our patients. We will not make referrals (to foreign medical facilities) for our patients. It’s everybody.
Ministers are only about 20 but those who have been going out it’s you, you, me, altogether.
That export bill was too high and that’s what we want to curtail. We want to do away with that, and it requires us to carry out restructuring from the village health worker right up to the quaternary hospital.
The 64-year-old former army general has received treatment in India, South Africa and China over the last year and his estranged wife, Marry, has also been unwell for more than a year.