In a press statement released on Thursday evening, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa maintained his statement that he was poisoned at a Zanu-PF rally in Gwanda.
Mnangagwa was responding to Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko who as acting president in Mugabe’s absence, had issued a statement on Wednesday stating that Mnangagwa was lying that he was poisoned in order to destabilise the country and undermine President Robert Mugabe. Mnangagwa made the claims on Saturday during a memorial service for the late national heroine, Shuvai Mahofa, where he implied that he was poisoned like she was during a Zanu-PF conference held in 2015 in Victoria Falls.
Mnangagwa’s claims that he was poisoned are against President Robert Mugabe’s statement during a Zanu-PF Youth Interface Rally held in Midlands last month. Mugabe is quoted by ZBC News and other media outlets to have said that Mnangagwa according to his doctors, was not poisoned and that no traces of poisoning were found in his blood. Said Mugabe:
His doctor came and we had over 1 hour 30 minutes at State House, where he explained everything to me. He said Cde Mnangagwa has been my patient for over 20 years. He said there was no food poisoning as there were no traces of poison in his blood but what surprised us is that he vomited until he could not do so, fainted several times, apo achizvimba nekuzvimba. Chakanyanyotityisa ndechekuti ropa rake rakange ravashoma and brain dzake futi was affected. Oh anga ava kuenda murume uyu, ndanga ndisisazive. Now we must build up his strength, his body, he is now fit again, wasimba, he is back asi tichirikuda kuziva kuti zvakambouya sei, tichiongorora kuti hazvichadzoki futi here. But it’s not food poisoning. Nesu zvakativhundutsa chose. Tinorwara tese, miviri iyi inoneta dzimwe nguva, wongonzwa kuti munhu adonha, zvinoitika. Now nemudzimai wake chasara kutevedzera chikafu chaakanzi adye, nyama akanzi asabata, hameno hako kana wanga une mbudzi wotondipa ndinodzidya,
However Mnangagwa maintains that he was poisoned although he rules out food poisoning. Said Mnangagwa:
During the briefing with His Excellency the President Cde R.G. Mugabe, the medical doctors who attended to me ruled out food poisoning but confirmed that indeed poisoning had occurred and that investigations were still in progress. They however established that poisoning had indeed occurred and investigations were in progress.
During the Ordinary Session of the Politburo held on 6 September, 2017 and the Ordinary Session of the Central Committee held on S September, 2017, I informed the meetings that my doctors had said that I was not food poisoned. I did not state that poison had been ruled out. It is most disappointing that a person at the level of my colleague Vice President. Cde R.P. Mphoko would misunderstand and misrepresent the statements made by His Excellency. the President Cde R.G. Mugabe, and myself.