Mixed reports on Mugabe’s health
Cape Town – Contrary to reports that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is “fighting for his life”, in a Singapore hospital, a member of his party Zanu-PF has said that “he is enjoying an Easter break with his family in Asia”, a report said on Monday.
According to The Zimbabwe Mail, a member of Zanu-PF denied that Mugabe had a health emergency, suggesting instead that he was set to fly back into the country sometime on Wednesday.
“The President is on his Easter holidays, like everyone else. He returns to his post this week, at the same time as those who are asking about his whereabouts from their holiday hideouts,” he was quoted as saying.
But reports maintain that the ailing leader underwent intensive treatment in Singapore and was battling for his life.
The embattled 88 year old left on what was described as a “private visit” to Singapore on March 31.
His aides said Mugabe would use the trip to oversee arrangements for his daughter, Bona, to begin post-graduate study, after she received her accounting degree from a Hong Kong university last year.
Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980, visited Singapore eight times last year.
His spokesperson described the trips as necessitated by cataract surgery, or simply private visits, amid repeated media reports that he was suffering from cancer.
His health has been the subject of much speculation, especially since WikiLeaks last year released a 2008 US diplomatic cable saying central bank chief Gideon Gono had told then-US ambassador James McGee that Mugabe had prostate cancer and had been advised by doctors he had less than five years to live.
Mugabe’s health has been cited as one reason that a faction of his Zanu-PF party has pushed to rush new elections.
But the Zanu-PF leader, who has already been named as his party’s candidate for the next elections, has shot down rumours that he is sick.