A large number of ministers in Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe’s cabinet are seriously sick with AIDS, drawing back government programmes and costing taxpayers millions to send them abroad for treatment, Now Daily can exclusively reveal.
Last week, three cabinet members excused themselves from ministers’ question time in parliament due to illness while many others missed cabinet and Zanu PF politburo meetings for the same reason.
“Mugabe should never have appointed many of these ministers because they are ill and would never pass a medical test,” said Mark Makoni of the Zimbabwe Accountability Network. “If this was a private business it would be broke by now because most of the employees are always off sick. As it is, the government is losing millions by paying acting allowances to other ministers. There is no continuity in government programmes because the relevant ministers are always absent from their posts.”
Mugabe himself suffers from AIDS, along with his wife, Grace, according to intelligence officials. Grace Mugabe denies she and her husband have AIDS but the couple is continuously in Singapore seeking medical treatment. Grace Mugabe’s dramatic loss of weight, spots on her skin and her sudden decision to cut off her natural dreadlocks have fuelled speculation that she suffers from AIDS. She has however admitted that she had part of her appendix removed after she disappeared from public view for nearly two months in 2015.
Presidential spokesman George Charamba’s AIDS condition was revealed by his wife Tsitsi, who created a scene when she fought with him in public, accusing him of infecting her.
Vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa’s wife and several girlfriends have died of AIDS. Mnangagwa had built houses for a string of women in Redcliff at state expense while he was housing minister. Relatives confirmed to Now Daily that the women had died of AIDS and blamed Mnangagwa for their deaths.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, security minister Kembo Mohadi and his wife Tambudzani, mines minister Walter Chidhakwa and agriculture minister Joseph Made are also on the list of sick ministers. Tambudzani Mohadi was notorious for dating younger men. One of her lovers, Strover Mutonhori, who worked with her at the Lutheran World Federation before she became senator, was murdered by hitmen hired by her husband.
Home affairs minister Ignatius Chombo was accused of having the deadly virus by his wife Marian Chombo, who demanded a divorce from him, accusing him of womanizing. Chombo was found to be dating young prostitutes. In one incident, he tried to murder two of the hookers after they clashed by ordering his bodyguards to dump the women in the Hwange national park, which is full of dangerous wild animals. The women survived to tell the story to the media.
Masvingo provincial minister Shuvai Mahofa, who also suffers from AIDS, has been in and out of hospital in the past few weeks. Her office confirmed that she had not been coming to work. Mahofa has been implicated in numerous sex scandals, including snatching married men using her political clout and ill-gotten wealth. One of her many lovers embarrassed her by stating: “Mahofa is one of my many girlfriends.” Mahofa was thrown out of cabinet by Mugabe because of the sex scandals and only returned recently as a provincial minister after helping Mugabe to get rid of supporters of former vice president Joyce Mujuru in Masvingo province, including members of a faction led by former minister Eddison Zvobgo, who also died of AIDS.
Apparently, there are no consequences for ministers who go for extended periods attending to their illnesses. Former education minister Stan Mudenge and vice president John Nkomo were hospitalized for months but were not retired on health grounds by Mugabe, who appointed other ministers to perform their roles in their absence.
ZAN’s Makoni said the law should be changed to ensure that cabinet ministers are subjected to medical tests before being appointed, just like the civil servants they are supposed to supervise. Zimbabwean laws say people cannot be fired or denied employment on the basis that they have AIDS.
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