President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba has clarified on the welcome that was received by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga who returned home early this morning. Chiwenga spent more than 4 months away from the office after suffering from an undisclosed ailment, although some reports have said that he was poisoned. However, he seems to have recovered well after he went for treatment in China where specialists from Zimbabwe, South Africa, India and China worked on his health.
Following the return of the Vice President, social media has been awash with speculation and conspiracy theories. The speculation and the theories were generated after the Vice President was welcomed by a delegation of officials from the local Chinese Embassy. The lack of high-level government officials at the airport also roused interest in some who speculated that this was a clear indication that Chiwenga was not in good books with his principal, President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Charamba as the presidential spokesperson, took it upon himself to educate Zimbabweans on state protocols and how this affects the delegation that welcomed the former Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF). Writing on social media site Twitter, under his handle @Jamwanda2, Charamba took aim at some of the critics saying,
TWI-PROTOCOL? Interesting that well-known oppositional twi-voices seek to teach is how to welcome and love our leaders! Itsitsi dzei? For the record, ED who is Head of State and President of Zimbabwe does not – repeat – DOES NOT receive his Deputy.
In the same vein, the Chinese Ambassador who personifies the Chinese State here in Zimbabwe WILL NOT receive a Vice President of the State to which he is accredited. Protocol does not allow both cases. For the record, President Mnangagwa and his Deputy enjoyed daily communication while the VP was away.
The President will meet and welcome his Deputy in the appropriate way and setting. In the meantime, all well-meaning Zimbabweans rejoice that Vice President Chiwenga is back and looks fit.
Don’t confuse our culture and State Protocol. Our culture will be honoured in the best way the President knows how!!