By Daniel Chigundu
VICE President Emmerson Mnangagwa who returned home last week from South Africa where he was seeking medical attention for alleged food poising, failed to turn-up for the 5th edition of the Annual National Agri-business Conference (ANAC) on Wednesday.
ANAC is jointly organised by the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society (ZAS) and the National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF) and its objective is to look at actors, partners and stakeholders progress on various food production enhancement initiatives in the country.
Mnangagwa has never missed any edition of ANAC from its inception in 2013 and he has delivered a keynote address each time.
However, his last minute decision not to turn up for the conference has triggered speculations that even though he returned home walking on his own, the Vice President is still unwell.
Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office Clifford Sibanda who was asked to represent him confirmed that the VP is still unwell but is on road to recovery.
“I am privileged to represent the Vice President at this year’s edition of the Annual National Agri-business Conference.
“I went to see him yesterday (Tuesday) he is getting better and he will be back in office very soon,” said Sibanda.
There is currently no consensus as to what really happened to the Vice President at the Gwanda Youth Interface Rally, but those close to the VP are of the opinion that he was poisoned as he suffered minor liver and kidney damages.
Those of the contrary opinion suggest the VP ate stale food and got sick.
Mnangagwa was airlifted to Wits University Donald Gordon Medical Centre in South Africa via a private jet for further treatment and check-up.
It, however, remains to be seen if the Vice President will be able to attend the official opening of the 107th edition of Harare Agriculture Show this Friday 25th of August.
His absence will, however, give more ammunition to speculators and even questions will also be raised as to whether the Vice President is fit or not.
Mnangagwa is taunted as the potential successor to President Robert Mugabe and is reportedly leading a faction popularly known as Lacoste in Zanu PF factional fights.