HARARE – First Lady Grace Mugabe on Saturday revealed that President Robert Mugabe suffered from serious food poisoning that he thought he was going to die.
Grace said Mugabe had diarrhoea for two weeks and was given medicine intravenously and could not rise from his bed.
“He spent two weeks experiencing diarrhoea but we never made a noise about it,” she told Zanu PF supporters at a youth interface rally in Bindura.
Mugabe even summoned Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi, a Swedish-trained medical doctor because he felt he was on his deathbed, Grace said.
“My husband asked me to call Sekeramayi to come and see him before he died and I called Sekeramayi who entered his bedroom when he was hardly able to wake up from his bed,” she said, without giving a specific date on the incident.
“My husband went through food poisoning for sure… but he never went public about it,’ she added.
The revelation at the rally was a jibe at Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose allies claimed he was deliberately poisoned by political foes during another interface rally in Gwanda last month.
Mnangagwa was later airlifted to South Africa where he had emergency surgery.
The alleged poisoning saga has worsened the infighting in the former liberation movement with Mugabe coming out publicly to warn his senior officials over allegations that Mnangagwa had been poisoned by ice cream from his dairy company.
Grace said the allegations were calculated to destroy the first family’s business.
Mnangagwa has since issued a statement denying that his illness was caused by ice cream from the first family’s Gushungo Dairies.
The revelation that Sekeramayi was summoned by Mugabe at a time of severe ill-health will likely fuel speculation that the quietly-spoken politician was favoured to succeed Mugabe.
But on Saturday Mugabe ruled out choosing a successor, saying it would be against the party’s constitution.
At 93, Mugabe’s health is a source of constant speculation.
The president makes regular trips to Singapore for health check-ups, though officials say these are specifically related to his eyes.