Thursday is D-Day for Mugabe

2012-04-10 12:46

The world will likely know on Thursday what to make of reports that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is “battling for his life” – a story that went viral on social media networks and the internet.

Local newspapers in Zimbabwe were quiet today about the story, which claims Mugabe is in a Singapore hospital nearing death.

The story was broken by a website, zimbabwemail.com, and picked up by international news organisations such as The Australian, which sent the story into the news orbit.

The story said Mugabe had put defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa in charge of the country and secretly blessed him as Mugabe’s successor.
Mnangagwa’s aides are said to be in charge of zimbabwemail.com.

No further confirmation of the story could be obtained.

Mugabe moved the scheduled cabinet meeting from today to Thursday, which he is expected to attend. If he is in good health, he will be eager to put the matter to rest. If he does not attend the meeting, it will further fuel rumours of his possible demise.

With Mugabe’s health being a subject of speculation over the years and the recent death of Malawian President Bingu Wa Mutharika, Mugabe’s visit to Singapore triggered the latest reports.

Mugabe’s office maintains that he will be back from the Far East tomorrow. Responding to the reports, Zanu-PF on its official Twitter account took a swipe at the West for “pushing propaganda”.

“Pls (sic) ignore the latest attempts by puppets of the West & so called human rights groups to prematurely celebrate the passing of Cde RG Mugabe,” reads one of the tweets.

Mugabe’s chief spindoctor, George Charamba, has not been taking calls on the issue, which raised suspicions that there might be something to the story.

Eyebrows were also raised at Mugabe’s decision to not use the national carrier Air Zimbabwe for his trip to Singapore.

Mugabe is the only one who has kept Air Zimbabwe flying wherever he intends to go. This time around he used a private jet owned by Mbada Diamonds.

Mugabe has to address the nation next week on Independence Day (April 18). It is his platform where he usually attacks opposition parties of reversing the gains of the liberation struggle.

He is also expected to open the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair at the end of April.

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