'I don't bleach my skin': says Zim VP, after becoming the butt of jokes

2018-05-10 08:12
Constantino Chiwenga (File: AP)

Constantino Chiwenga (File: AP)

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Zimbabwe's vice president, Constantino Chiwenga, says he suffers from a skin disease that first surfaced last year as he and other military commanders planned Operation Restore Legacy, the army takeover that preceded Robert Mugabe’s resignation.

Chiwenga, the former defence forces chief, dismissed claims that his lighter complexion and the pale patches visible on his hands are a result of him using skin lightening creams.

Whole body affected

"It was during (the military operation) that I fell ill. I had this skin disease that affected my whole body from beneath my feet to my back and the journalists started saying I was using skin lightening creams but that was not the case. I was sick," he said in quotes and a video clip carried by the state-run Chronicle.

"We then sent everything to South Africa to find out what was causing the sickness but they failed to treat it," he added.

Nun supplied herbs

Chiwenga, who was speaking at the funeral of his sister in the eastern town of Marondera on Tuesday, said he had since been healed with herbs supplied by a Roman Catholic nun.

The private NewsDay said Chiwenga – who is married to a former Zimbabwean model – had recently been derided on social media with names like "Bleachy Chiwenga" and "General Ambi" – after the famous make of skin cream. 

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  constantino chiwenga  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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