HARARE – Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has returned to work after spending weeks away from his official duties following emergency surgery prompted by a suspected and alleged poison attack at a youth interface rally in Gwanda early this month.
Mnangagwa made appearances at his Munhumutapa Offices and New Government Complex on Monday before going home at around 3pm.
“The VP was in the office on Monday. He is one person who cannot sit idly so he made surprise visits to his offices to clear some of the work that had been piling since he was away. He went home just after 3pm.
“He is due in Cabinet today (yesterday) and is also likely to be in Gweru on Friday for President Robert Mugabe’s youth interface rally,” an associate of Mnangagwa told the Daily News yesterday.
Presidential spokesperson George Charamba was not picking up his phone to confirm Mnangagwa’s “return” to work.
Mnangagwa had to be rushed to South Africa three weeks ago after falling ill while attending a Zanu PF youth interface rally in Gwanda.
He made his first public appearance since he fell ill last Friday when he visited the residence of the late vice president Simon Muzenda to pay his condolences to his family following the death of his widow, Moudy.
However, he was absent from her burial at the National Heroes Acre on Saturday.
He joined mourners at her body viewing at Stodart Hall in Mbare, before going back home.
Mugabe later told mourners at the Heroes Acre that Mnangagwa’s health was not yet permitting him to attend public and national events.
“Mnangagwa, we were with him but he told us, he has not fully recovered and will not be able to come to the Heroes Acre. His doctors told him that he must not strain himself at this juncture. He went home to rest,” Mugabe said.
Mnangagwa’s alleged poisoning incident has further strained relations among mistrusting Zanu PF senior officials.
There has been widespread speculation that Mnangagwa consumed food poisoned by his Zanu PF rivals in an attempt to physically eliminate him from the succession race.
With Mugabe turning 94 in February next year, fierce jostling has emerged among his top lieutenants who believe they have what it takes to succeed him.
The race, which has been on for the past two decades, has had its intrigues.
Four vice presidents have so far succumbed to varying ailments, denying them of the opportunity to get a chance to run for the top office.
These are Joshua Nkomo (1917–1999); Simon Muzenda (1922–2003); Joseph Msika (1923–2009) and John Landa Nkomo (1934–2013).
More interestingly, Joice Mujuru, once seen as a shoo-in to take over from Mugabe, was fired from Zanu PF and government in 2014 for reportedly plotting to dethrone her boss using unconstitutional means.
Mujuru, who is now leading the National People’s Party, had deputised Mugabe for about 10 years.
Nicknamed “the crocodile” in the Shona language, Mnangagwa was appointed after the sacking of Mujuru.
But since taking over from Mujuru, Mnangagwa has found himself facing similar charges from his internal rivals of plotting to unseat Mugabe.
In the past, there have been six break-ins at his offices with his allies saying those were plots to eliminate him. – Daily News