The VP recently became a butt of jokes online owing to his lighter complexion
Chiwenga, the former defence forces chief, said 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.
"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 at his sister's burial.
Chiwenga was forced to address the issue after being mocked on social media platforms, earning the nicknames Bleachy Chiwenga and General Ambi.
He said treatment in South Africa failed to work - but herbs did.
“We could not find treatment even in South Africa to cure the ailment and Margaret went to a sister (Roman Catholic nun) and got some herbs that I was taking and I survived."
The vice president however did not name the disease afflicting him.