Savanna News has learnt how Vice President Constantino Chiwenga ended up being appointed Health Minister by Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
It has emerged that Chiwenga requested to take over as Minister of Health and Child Care following differences with President Emmerson Mnangagwa over the sacked Obadiah Moyo’s successor.
The move to appoint Chiwenga as Health Minister was questioned by a section of Zimbabweans with some questioning Mnangagwa’s motives.
Some law experts described Chiwenga’s appointment as unconstitutional stating that a Vice President is not allowed to double up as a minister in terms of the constitution.
An insider who spoke to The Standard on condition of anonymity said Chiwenga wanted Health and Child Care deputy minister John Mangwiro, who is his personal doctor, to take over the ministry, but Mnangagwa did not agree.
After disagreeing with Mnangagwa, Chiwenga is said to have volunteered to take over the portfolio.
Chiwenga is said to be among a section in government that were said to be unhappy with the scandals that have rocked the Health ministry related to the procurement of medical equipment to fight Covid-19.
Moyo is on $50 000 bail over abuse of office charges after he was accused of single-handedly awarding a tender to Delish Nguwaya, a close friend of Mnangagwa’s children.
Nguwaya was arrested over a US$60 million drugs procurement scandal.
He was also freed on $50 000 bail by High Court judge, Justice Pisirayi Kwenda, who said the businessman cannot be blamed for approvals made by government officials.
A source who spoke to the publication said Chiwenga’s first task is to get doctors and nurses back to work. The source said that Chiwenga will succeed in doing that this coming week.
When the publication made enquiries to Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba refused to comment on Chiwenga’s appointment, saying: “I am too serious for those kind of conversations.”