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Mugabe dismisses VP poisoning claims

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Mugabe dismisses VP poisoning claims

Photo by Reuters
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe

29th August 2017

By: News24Wire

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Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has reportedly dismissed claims that Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa was bewitched after he suffered what was believed to be food poisoning early this month.

Mnangagwa was flown to South Africa for emergency medical care two weeks ago after he started vomiting and had severe diarrhoea.

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The deputy president, who was seen as a favourite to succeed Mugabe, fell ill at a rally where the president was speaking on August 12.

According to The Standard, some Zanu-PF bigwigs alleged that Mnangagwa ate poisoned ice-cream from the first family's Gushungo Holdings.

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South African doctors, who treated him, reportedly said that they "detected traces of palladium poison which had partly damaged part of his liver".

But the nonagenarian dismissed the claims, saying: "During the armed struggle, we never had weak cadres like what we are seeing today... Now the talk of witchcraft is the order of the day.

Double standards

"Some are even saying the president is a witch, how many did I kill? We have travelled a long journey together and why kill today?"

The veteran leader said that it was normal for people to fall sick, including those in top leadership.

Mugabe said this while speaking at the burial of two Zanu-PF stalwarts over the weekend.

He lashed out at Masvingo politicians for claiming Mnangagwa was poisoned or bewitched.

"This is not the Masvingo tradition that we know... So if you have your witch doctors who are telling you about being bewitched, down with your witchcraft issues," Mugabe was quoted as saying.

However, the nonagenarian's detractors accused him of double standards since he also accused his former deputy president Joice Mujuru of witchcraft, according to  New Zimbabwe.com.

Following her sacking in 2014, Mugabe boldly accused Mujuru of practising and dabbling in voodoo.

Mugabe claimed at the time that Mujuru performed rituals while "topless with breasts hanging" in an attempt to kill him and other Zanu-PF party officials whom she viewed as a hindrance to her political ascendancy.

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