Acting president Constantino Chiwenga was conspicuously absent at the Robert Mugabe International Airport to welcome President Emmerson Mnangagwa who was returning from Mozambique where he attended the 12th US-Africa Business Summit.
The most senior government official who was at the airport to welcome back President Mnangagwa was Defence and War Veterans Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri. Also present was Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in Harare Metropolitan Province Oliver Chidawu, Minister of Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda, service chiefs and other senior government officials
The ailing Vice President was left as acting President but because of illness he could not attend to his duties and Minister Oppah was instead acting on his behalf. Chiwenga is reportedly sick and is being attended by doctors from his home. The other Vice President, Kembo Mohadi is also sick and left the country to seek medical attention.
Chiwenga was airlifted to India on May 18 and did not return home until June 9. He has not been seen in public even after his return. He missed a meeting between Mnangagwa and leaders of some opposition parties on June 14 and also did not attend Cabinet on Tuesday this week.
Government sources said Chiwenga, whose ailment has not been disclosed, was “still indisposed”.
Mohadi, meanwhile, is also understood to have been flown to South Africa where he regularly goes for treatment. The nature of his chronic illness has not been disclosed