According to high level sources inside the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC), the VP’s invitation was allegedly relayed to him by China’s deputy ambassador to Zimbabwe, Zhao Baogang, through foreign affairs minister, Sibusiso Moyo, who met with the Chargé d’Affaires on 12 December 2019 at his Munhumutapa offices.
The disclosures come hot on the heels of former information minister in President Robert Mugabe’s government, Jonathan Moyo, this week revealing on his Twitter handle, that Mnangagwa has not taken his annual leave, and has not been able to leave the country because of a foiled coup in early November last year, which has cost the dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) deputy director, Aaron Nhepera, his job.
This publication was the first to report on 22 March 2019, that a special delegation of senior Zimbabwean military officials reportedly told Chinese generals that Mnangagwa’s political reign will expire in 2020, a few days prior to former leader Mugabe’s November 2017 coup ouster.
“The president is not himself and is in panic mode,” OPC sources said. “He was made to believe that his deputy is going for a medical review in China, but it has turned out that, the vice president has been invited for a private visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping’s office. Nobody knows the purpose of the invitation nor the exact date the VP will come back home. So in the president’s eyes the whole medical thing is a political alibi, and we really don’t know what’s going on or what will happen when his deputy returns.”
Mnangagwa recently told congregants attending an annual National Thanksgiving and Dedication Service at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) grounds in Bulawayo, a few days ago, that Chiwenga was back in China for medical review and asked the congregants to pray for the VP.
“I wish that as we pray, we also remember to pray for Vice-President Chiwenga who is back in China for medical review. He will be back in the country soon,” Mnangagwa said.
Another OPC official, who has previously worked in the foreign affairs ministry, said Mnangagwa was “worried” about Chiwenga’s China return, because Beijing is now dealing directly with the VP’s office on Zimbabwe issues, via foreign minister Moyo, instead of the President’s Office.