Emmerson Mnangagwa fell gravely ill at a Youth Interface rally in Matabeleland South in a suspected case of food poisoning. Mnangagwa started vomiting uncontrollably and had to be airlifted by the military choppers from the rally and ended up hospitalized in South Africa. The poisoning of Mnangagwa who was then Vice President of Zimbabwe caused a lot of controversy within the ZANU-PF party as the then first family that is Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace Mugabe were fingered as the architects of the poisoning by some of Mnangagwa's supporters in the party. Energy Mutodi actually accused Sydney Sekeremai and David Parirenyatwa of administering the poison so as to kill Mnangagwa and pave way for Grace Mugabe to succeed Robert Mugabe as the President of Zimbabwe.

It was initially assumed that Mnangagwa was poisoned through ice cream manufactured from Gushungo dairy owned by the Mugabe family but Omega Hungwe claimed that President Emmerson Mnangagwa was not poisoned using ice cream but was poisoned by one of the passengers in a helicopter ride to Gwanda.