By Hope Sarara
SPECULATION was rife in Harare, Friday that Vice President Constantino Chiwenga could make a return to the country “any day from now” after over six months in China where he has been receiving treatment for a throat infection that insiders claim had developed into a deadly cancer, highly placed sources said.
Chiwenga’s expected return coincides with reports from security sources that a team of “would be assassins” entered the country last week but there whereabouts are unknown.
“There is a red-alert after information was gathered that a team of five people two of them Zimbabweans came into the country last week with instructions to carry out a not so palatable assignment on a high profile target.
“Its a high security issue but one being treated very seriously although this information is yet to be verified,” a security source claimed.
The claim according to sources seem to dovetail with social media pronouncements by exiled former Zanu PF senior leaders particularly ex-national commissar Savior Kasukuwere and to an extent former Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo.
“Its a difficult situation. Security around VIPs has been reconfigured and the events at State House this week plus rantings from Kasukuwere and Moyo are not making things easy for us,” said one source.
Mnangagwa has also removed the iconic Toyota Landcruisers used by the elite Presidential Guard that had become a common feature of former President Robert Mugabe’s security apparatus and replaced these with Toyota Prados.
In one Twitter message Kasukuwere suggested “freedom is coming soon”, while in another he said: “Damascene moments are rare and true. Leadership is acknowledging mistakes of the past and perfecting our way going forward. In the Bible Soul became Paul and changed the face of the New Testament. As we press forward we remember yesterday’s mistakes.”
While his condition could not be established top security sources claimed Chiwenga, the former Commander Defence Forces and the power behind the November 2017 coup that toppled Mugabe and installed his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa was on his way.
“He is expected in the country today (Friday). Nobody knows how he is because he chased away all security details save for one soldier,” nEWS263zim.com heard.
“We do not have any information and its just the waiting. There are so many theories around him but really its not what one would rely on.”
A different source however claimed Chiwenga was expected anytime within the next two weeks.
“The exact date is unknown but he is expected to come back now. But give it up to the first or second week of December,” she said.
In early August nEWS263zim.com reported that Chiwenga had shut out his wife Mary from visiting him after he suspected she was leaking “confidential information” about his health to “enemies.”
Only his two sisters and Deputy Health Minister John Mangwiro as well as his eldest daughter who stays in the Middle East were allowed to see him.
Chiwenga has been unwell since he masterminded the coup.
Initially when the Vice President was flown to South Africa for treatment, government spin-doctors claimed Chiwenga was being treated for bullet wounds dating back to the struggle for independence.
It however emerged Chiwenga was having problems with his throat that had developed into a cancerous infection causing him to lose a lot of weight.
As the situation deteriorated, Chiwenga was then flown to China where he has been since the first half of this year.
The Vice President’s health problems have however turned political with his decision to cut loose his government assigned security and shutting out his wife seen as a way of limiting information to his opponents.
Since the power seizure, Mnangagwa and Chiwenga’s relationship has reportedly deteriorated to a point where there reportedly is suspicion that the latter could be plotting “take back control.”
The security situation in the country remains fluid with an unsettling incident having occurred early this week when a member of the crack Presidential Guard having emptied 30 round in the State House grounds “out of frustration” with the deteriorating economic and social situation.
Sergeant Magade is reportedly still being interrogated with reports indicating the Commander Presidential Guard Lieutenant Samson Murombo had been relieved of his duties over the issue. Murombo a few months ago had a fall-out with First Lady Auxillia over “his snooping activities”.
Security officials also indicated they had taken note of claims that Chiwenga and Kasukuwere were closing ranks along tribal lines after Mnangagwa openly showed favouritism with his clansmen in appointments to key positions.