News24

Zimbabwe's Mugabe 'well, on holiday'

2012-04-10 20:22

Harare - Zimbabwean officials on Tuesday dismissed reports that President Robert Mugabe was seriously ill in Singapore, saying he was well, on holiday there with his family and expected to return home this week.

Chief spokesperson for Mugabe's Zanu-PF party Rugare Gumbo told state television the reports were "lies meant to destabilise Zimbabwe" and the veteran leader would return home this week.

Two other senior officials had also angrily denied reports by some international media that he was undergoing intensive treatment in a Singapore hospital and was fighting for his life.

The 88-year-old president has been the subject of several health scares in recent years, with some reports saying he has prostate cancer, but in February interviews with state media he laughed off suggestions that he was seriously ill.

Mugabe is one of Africa's longest serving leaders and is sharing power with political rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in a fragile coalition formed three years ago.

"Some sick and malicious people are spreading false stories about him being seriously ill while others are saying he is dead or dying out there," one Zanu-PF official said.

Mugabe has made frequent visits to Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong, where medical care is far better than in his impoverished state.

A terse Zimbabwean government statement saying a weekly cabinet meeting set for Tuesday had been postponed to Thursday had fed the rash of media speculation about the president's health. Mugabe usually chairs cabinet meetings.

Presidential candidate

Mugabe and Zanu-PF are blamed for turning his resource rich state into an economic basket case due to massive fiscal blunders, with international donors and foreign firms waiting for a more responsible government to be in place before sending billions of dollars in the country.

Zimbabwe's capital Harare was quiet, with government offices and businesses re-opening after the Easter holiday.

Mugabe, who celebrated his 88th birthday on February 21, was endorsed by his party as its presidential candidate for a general election he wants to be held before the end of this year despite opposition from his major political rivals.

Analysts say Mugabe will face a tough challenge convincing voters to extend his 32-year rule after a devastating economic crisis many blame on Zanu-PF.

There are fears that if Mugabe dies in office without settling a bitter succession battle in his Zanu-PF, the party could erupt in internal conflict and destabilise the country.

Most of Zimbabwe's newspapers on Tuesday carried no reports of Mugabe's purported illness. But one carried a story on the succession battle in the veteran leader's Zanu-PF party.

Although Zanu-PF officials rally behind Mugabe in public, in private many want him to retire and pass the baton to a younger heir due to fears his advanced age may cost the party victory in the upcoming election.

While some Zanu-PF members now see Mugabe as a political liability, many also recognise him as the only one able to control a highly partisan Zimbabwean army led by veterans of the 1970s independence war.

Many are also unsure whether his potential successors in the party can defeat Tsvangirai in a free election. Elections must be held by next year under their power-sharing deal.

Comments
  • Sechaba - 2012-04-10 20:33

    This is great News, I wish those who were praying for the worse to enjoy their humble pie, I hope it tastes better.

      Vernon - 2012-04-10 20:41

      spin!!!

      samuel.murambiwa - 2012-04-10 20:52

      he gona die he aint imortal,l wl also attend hs buriaaal at the dogs archer

      Ian - 2012-04-10 21:02

      must sure taste better than what the people of zim are tasting which is sweet F ALL

      DMoerin - 2012-04-10 21:29

      Damn, Hitler was organising a welcome party in hell for him......

      Sheik - 2012-04-10 21:30

      He is now only using up oxygen, I blame him for the green house effect.

      Sheik - 2012-04-10 21:31

      Sechaba I'm praying for reason to have a party.

      John - 2012-04-11 01:46

      @Vernon, Yep it's all spin, if he is just on "holiday" why doesn't he have a picture of himself taken over there to dispel any rumours? The infighting has already begun for his successor. ZANU PF BS

      Refiloe - 2012-04-11 12:01

      Is He dead yet. eish i nd a reason to have a party. Die Die Oready.

  • Hermann - 2012-04-10 20:40

    Oh dear, the usual autumn rerun again.

  • Fred - 2012-04-10 20:41

    Yeah right. Like he's the great African democrat.

  • Ntshembo - 2012-04-10 20:42

    aaahh they'll lie even if he is 6 fit under,mugabe is in hospital.

  • Marius - 2012-04-10 20:44

    Okay, so he is well, we get it. Wonder what they are going to say if he actually dies?

      Kit Yorke - 2012-04-10 21:14

      A relief.!Treated his own kind worse than pigs.

  • Mike Purchase - 2012-04-10 20:49

    Sick in the head cannot be well.

  • Chumscrubber1 - 2012-04-10 20:55

    Yawn ....

  • maandamuafrika.mashapha - 2012-04-10 20:59

    Thanks to hear such good news.never mind about those rumours rom propagandist.NWARI AVE NEWE. You have done good things to BLACKS AND WE ARE STILL EXPECTING MORE TO YOU,ROBERT GABRIEL MUGABE You are in that position by people so those who want you out are the AGENTS of WESTERNS

      Sechaba - 2012-04-10 21:07

      I wish we had sober minded people like you on this forum. Mugabe is one leader who is fighting for Black people of Africa.

      Sheik - 2012-04-10 21:34

      Bet you writing this from within South Africa's border, another refugee.

      Keith - 2012-04-10 23:19

      SECHABA, do you really call what Mugabe did fighting for his people, that man has reduced Zimbabwe to be one of the poorest countries in the world, he has also made Zimbabweans to be known as asylum seekers worldwide, torture,murder,imprisoning innocent people,civilians disappearing without a trace,arsons, people forced to buy zanu pf membership cards,innocent women get raped by Mugabe's henchmen,Mugabe's party using food aid for a political punishment for those who does not do politics or not vote zanu pf and beatings to innocent civilians and yet shallow minded people like you are still worshiping this imbecile called Mugabe,here in DENMARK the most refugees are from Zimbabwe, in BRITAIN,AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND the cities of these countries are crowded with Zimbabweans in south Africa we have got around 4million of Zimbabweans so why they have spread like flies in the mention countries if Mugabe is fighting for his people.

      John - 2012-04-11 03:45

      @Albert. Mugabe, Malemmer and Charles Manson all brainwashed their followers feel sorry for this idiot, he's been duped.

      Refiloe - 2012-04-11 11:57

      you must be somewhere in S.A.Drinking coke. I hope he dies soon and u can join him.

      Stephen - 2012-04-11 15:17

      @ Keith , dont waste you breath, he's not worth answering.

  • Ian - 2012-04-10 21:01

    RIGHT, so the people of zim starve and the fat ugly barbarian is on holiday, hope it dies soon, theres a special place in hell reserved for this stinking disgusting murdering savage

  • Konanani - 2012-04-10 21:05

    Damn

  • Prince Mashiri - 2012-04-10 21:08

    Viva mr president , we love you .

      Honest - 2012-04-11 15:48

      thats it, we still luv him

  • Henry - 2012-04-10 21:08

    I have been following these stories with a lot of interest and it's apparent that the truth is not coming out. For starters uncle Bob would have been responding to these stories about his ill health if he was not incapacitated. " well , on holiday" must be a coded description of how dire the situation is. We will watch the space.

      Pussycat44 - 2012-04-10 21:22

      Bob must send a date-stamped photograph to prove that he is well and happy on holiday. Maybe one together with Grace in some expensive clothing store.

      John - 2012-04-11 04:08

      Henry and Pussycat. The spin doctors dare not let it be known that he is dead until they can sort out the rightful heir, there is already huge infighting inside the ZANU PF. Follow the story here: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/apr11_2012.html

  • Graham - 2012-04-10 21:23

    Enjoying the billions he's stolen from his starving citizens!

  • Martin - 2012-04-10 21:27

    All devil's children on earth are wishing the great uncle Bob dead because he stood his ground and was no body's puppet.Long live Robbie and should your health fail,donot worry Emmerson will take over with a vengence.

  • Sheik - 2012-04-10 21:28

    @Sechaba. He is closer to a hundred than he is to Twenty one, so we don't have to pray at all, time is not on his side.

  • Chappies ZA - 2012-04-10 21:47

    I think they are cloning Bob in Singapore.

  • Chappies ZA - 2012-04-10 21:50

    They are cloning Bob in Singapore!

  • Stephen - 2012-04-10 21:50

    Another gem from Zim's Ministry of Truth.

  • Kagiso - 2012-04-10 22:58

    this ''holiday'' could be on a permanent basis, 6 feet under.

  • Chaapo - 2012-04-11 01:54

    Never-ending "holidays" at tax payers expense.

  • Theo - 2012-04-12 07:18

    I don't wish him dead, just gone. If everything is tallied up, you will see that he was no better than Pol Pot, Bokassa, Hitler, Stalin, or other tyrants. The you had grandparents living in Zim on a state pension eating dog food to survive, let's see how you will feel!

  • bekkie.madluphuthu - 2012-04-13 06:42

    I knew it...

  • bekkie.madluphuthu - 2012-04-13 06:43

    I knew it...

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