Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga yesterday revealed he was battling a disease of the oesophagus during his four-month stint in hospital.
The disease made it difficult for him to eat as he could not swallow anything. He said this at a homecoming Roman Catholic Church mass held for him at his rural home in Wedza.
His recovery, he said, was nothing short of a miracle.
“I was telling colleagues that I spent close to six months without seeing the sun. I only saw it this last Saturday upon returning home,” he said.
“I want to thank you all for your prayers. Those prayers made me to survive. “Since I started falling sick in October last year, there were not many who thought I would heal completely. There were not many who thought I would be standing before you like this.
“The sickness is called idiopathic oesophageal stricture. It means that you cannot take in food and also you cannot even vomit. It involves blocking of the oesophagus and I spent a lot of time in the intensive care unit.”
VP Chiwenga thanked President Emmerson Mnangagwa for facilitating his treatment in China.
He also paid tribute to Chinese doctors and his team, led by Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Dr John Mangwiro, which accompanied him to China and other countries where he sought treatment.
On the striking doctors who are still refusing to return to work, the VP Chiwenga said:
“We are the most educated country in Africa, but I do not understand what has become of the young people . . . Every day, they want to make rich pickings, with little sweat. Where is that spirit coming from?
“Let us put the interests of our country first and have a unity of purpose. That is the Zimbabwe we want. “Yesterday (Friday), we had a meeting with church leaders, whose leaders included . . . Archbishop Robert Christopher Ndlovu and other church leaders.
“The President said Government had done all it could and it was no longer clear what the doctors really want. They got 30 percent, they refused; they got 60 percent and they refused again. Government then gave them a 100 percent increment, but again they refused.
"All that time, people were dying because the doctors were not at work. Doctors should respect the sanctity of life.”