Home Letter From Zimbabwe Of Chiwenga’s illness and stepping on a lion’s tail

Of Chiwenga’s illness and stepping on a lion’s tail

Of Chiwenga’s illness and stepping on a lion’s tail

This week I chose to ignore our struggles.

But I must hasten to say that sharing my problem last week on this platform helped a great deal as a bighearted colleague was quick to come to our rescue by buying medication for my diabetic husband and timely sending it across the border.

We had failed to buy the medication as most pharmacies were demanding the hard-to-get US dollar, which we did not have while those that were taking the local currency had more than tripled the prices.

Out of frustration, I shared the predicament and as they say, ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ because within two days my husband had his medication at hand.

And what since struck me is that our economic problems seem to be here to stay so we might as well learn to adjust and live with it despite the stress.

I now walk more instead of driving to save fuel, which is in short supply while finding comfort in that walking is actually good for health.

I haven’t eaten bread for three days because at least three shops where I normally buy it has not been stocking it and I am not prepared to queue for it, so have instead been having healthier sweet potatoes.

And oh by the way, there is also no beef in most butcheries and supermarkets and where it is available, prices are ridiculously high (around $16/ P160 per kilogramme) so when what we have in the fridge finishes, I will only be eating white meat and vegetables, unless of course if prices go back to the old prices of around $6 (P60) per kilogramme.

So I guess by the time things get back to normal I will be a healthier being!

But as already mentioned, I don’t intend to focus on our struggles as ordinary women and men on the streets because there is one man’s health struggle that caught my attention this week.

Vice President, Constatino Chiwenga returned from South Africa on Tuesday evening where he had gone to seek medical attention.

According to the state media, he was being treated for injuries sustained in a bombing in June at a campaign rally in Bulawayo, which is clearly not true.

What we do know is that the vice president, who is also the former army commander, has not been well since last November after playing a crucial role in a military coup that led to the ouster of former president Robert Mugabe.

Chiwenga, who has since changed complexion, apparently due to bleaching, has in the past claimed that him and his wife have vitiligo (a disease that causes loss of skin colour) which started soon after the coup.

Naughty people call him Comrade Bleachy whenever his complexion issue is talked about.

What however made news this week is a video of one Pastor Alph Lukau of Allelujah Ministries International, Sandton, South Africa prophesying to a woman who claimed to be Chiwenga’s niece.

Zimbabwe being a Christianity dominated country has quite a number of people who follow or believe in prophesies from Pentecostal or fire churches.

There is also a wide belief that witchcraft does exist, hence the said video became a talking point.

In the video the pastor says Chiwenga is sick because ‘he stepped on the tail of a lion’, insinuating that he was bewitched as he even goes as far as to say modern medicine treatment won’t work.

Now that’s where it gets interesting because a question arises; which ‘lion’ had its tail stepped on by Chiwenga.

Zimbos being Zimbos went on an overdrive to give answers, with most suggesting that it’s obviously Uncle Bob who is still bitter and will never forgive his former allies for removing him from power.

The interesting coincidence is that the Chiwengas started having skin related problems soon after the coup, so could it be that Mugabe really bewitched the former army general, or the prophet was just waffling? Take your pick.

As for me, I can only wish the VP well but when modern medicine doesn’t permanently heal him, maybe he must consider seeking audience with the ‘lion’.


  1. This is shameful

    Harare Hospital Faces Imminent Shut Down
    October 24, 2018

    The Harare Central Hospital is facing a plethora of challenges owing to the unavailability of money and human resources to efficiently run one of the country’s biggest referral centres.

    Speaking during a familiarisation tour by the Health Service Board (HBS), hospital chief executive Nyasha Masuka said the institution usually depended on locum nurses, but they were now reluctant to come due to non-payment of their services.

    Masuka cited the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) which has one nurse serving four patients instead of a ratio of 1:1.

    “This is a 1 000 (bed) hospital, we should be having 150 patients in ICU not the 15 we have at the moment. Some ICU patients are currently being taken care of in wards,” Masuka said.

    Almost every port of call during the tour had the same concerns, shortage of staff, unavailability of drugs and other requisite equipment, a situation which Masuka said has been the norm for some time.

    A casualty officer at the children’s wing said staff shortages have become unbearable as one officer has to manage a number of areas with high volumes alone, especially during the morning shift.

    “We attend to an average of 50 patients each morning and this is a big load for the officer on duty as they also have to attend to the cholera patients, something which borders on infection control, rendering it poor,” a doctor at the children’s wing said.

    The hospital has not been spared the current drug shortages with patients being forced to look for supplies on their own.

    At the moment, there are no intravenous (IV) antibiotics, cannulas, painkillers as well as other necessary drugs, leaving the hospital with no option, but to turn away patients without proper treatment or to tell them to provide for themselves.

    HSB chairperson Paulinus Sikhosana said the situation at the hospital was bad and demotivating to health personnel.

    “One of the demotivating factors is the work environment, it affects the nurses more than the remuneration. We were in Mutare recently, the issues are similar, workers are frustrated that the tools of the trade are inadequate,” he says”

  2. This is also SHAMEFUL in that the accused is only granted US$30 bail this is the son in law of the the thieving old man his bail should be MORE THAN US$30
    “By Tendai Rupapa

    Former president Robert Mugabe’s son-in-law, Simba Chikore, who is accused of unlawfully detaining a former Zimbabwe Airways employee Ms Bertha Zakeyo during a dispute, appeared in court yesterday.

    Chikore had surrendered himself to police in the company of his lawyer following the recent arrest of his alleged accomplice, Simbarashe Mutimbe.

    He was accompanied to court by his wife, Mrs Bona Mugabe-Chikore.

    Chikore appeared before magistrate Mr Elisha Singano, who granted him $30 bail with the State’s consent.

    As part of his bail conditions, Chikore was ordered not to interfere with state witnesses”

  3. While the RULING elite on the CONTINENT are seeking treatment outside their countries the ordinarypeople are being forced by the same RULING elite to struggle and make ends meet
    the big question what are those at SADC headquarters doing to alleviate the plight of the ordinary people instead of just being seen as EMPTY VESSESSLES MAKING ALOT O NOIXE and not doing something concrete for the ordinary people in the region
    Do they set standards and laws for people in the region are the people consulted??
    the article below is sending the wrong message that DANGEROUS AND EXPIRED DRUGS will be sold and they will get into the wrong hands

    It is the duty of the media to report such things as they affect the ordinary people and to write an article on any UNAUTHORISED PERSON/S selling drugs to the ordinary people .

    “Medical Drugs Floods Black Market
    October 25, 2018

    Authorities in Zimbabwe say the country’s economic crisis has resulted in an acute shortage of essential medical drugs.

    Officials say the shortage has pushed some people to turn to the black market for medicines, some of which are not certified by the drug control authority.

    For nearly 10 years now, Lena Lukwani has been taking five different types of medication to ease her diabetes and hypertension.

    The 77-year-old Lukwani said she used to pay about $50 for her medication, but says the situation has become dire in the past few months, with prices doubling. She says some drugs are in short supply.

    “These days it is difficult,” Lukwani said. “Out of the five I only got two; it has been like that for two months. So I have been limiting my diet — especially starch. I am blessed because of the children I have, but that is not the same for my colleagues who are also diabetic and are hypertensive.”

    Her seven children living around the globe managed to send her medication that was not readily available for three months.

    Otherwise, Lukwani said, she would have continued on her controlled diet or turned to the black market for help.

    Shingai Gwatidzo is the spokesperson of the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe.

    “A lot of people try and take advantage of the current situation,” Gwatidzo said. “You have a lot of unregulated markets that are coming up; those medicines are being smuggled into the country, we have not tested to see if they are safe. So one will be taking a risk in buying medicines on the streets.”

    Portifa Mwendera, president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Zimbabwe, acknowledges the health sector is failing to import enough antibiotics as well as drugs for ailments such as cancer, diabetes and hypertension.

    “The drug situation is pretty dire currently,” Mwendera said. “Our main worry is that if the prevailing situation continues, we get more complications in our patients. And we might actually lose some patients. What is propped up — which is more worrying — is the parallel market for medicines. We are seeing a lot of people advertising that they can sell and send medication into Zimbabwe.”

    On a number of occasions, police and vendors with medicines have engaged in street battles in Harare, only to see the vendors back on the streets the next day.

    The vendors argue that they have no other source of income and if the market has demand, they will remain in business by importing the drugs from neighboring countries.