Worries over Mugabe's health

2012-01-29 13:35

Harare - Fears over Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's advanced age and health are driving calls from his backers for polls this year to end the country's unity government, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told AFP in an interview.

The 87-year-old veteran, Africa's oldest leader, wants a vote this year after three tense years of power-sharing forced by bloody elections in 2008, but is once again at loggerheads with Tsvangirai who demands greater political reforms first.

"One can see they are running out of time on their candidate. President Mugabe's health is definitely a serious worry to Zanu-PF," said Tsvangirai about the ruling party's urgency to get to the ballot box.

"They are worried about the level of divisions that are in the party, that there's no cohesion in that party. They are too much concerned about retention of power and not about what they would do for the people of Zimbabwe."

The unity government, set up after the chaotic 2008 vote crippled the country, has yanked Zimbabwe from meltdown despite both rivals bluntly pointing to their arrangement as an unhappy compromise.


Mounting election jockeying has again pushed competitive party interests to the fore after two years of working to steer Zimbabwe into stable waters.

Tsvangirai wants long-delayed reforms before Zimbabweans cast ballots in the shadow of a decade of flawed polls, but Zanu-PF is angling for Mugabe, whose health has been debated in the media, to run again for the top spot this year, 32 years after taking power.

"He is an old man, he is not getting any younger and I think age is beginning to tell. But certainly not his ability to think, I think his brain is very much intact. But his health is telling, his body is frail," Tsvangirai said.

"If I were any of the key advisors I think he should have packed up and left the scene."

The former trade unionist who has faced arrest and beatings, offers biting observations on his ruling partner in a new autobiography, describing Mugabe as a "pathological coward" running a "dictatorship".

Polarised positions

"This is a relationship that has evolved from acrimony to very serious polarised positions to a situation where we can work together," he told AFP at his home in a quiet Harare suburb.

"President Mugabe may have seen this as a way of protecting his power, but I see it more as a response to the plight of the people.

"So perhaps we are entering this coalition from two different perspectives but I'm quite certain as far as I'm concerned that our objective is noble. That's why we entered into this coalition government."

Tsvangirai describes a coalition as the worst form of government but says it was the "best soft landing arrangement" for Zimbabwe and believes it is not in danger of collapse.

"We have an irreversible process towards resolving the crisis once and for all. Why would anyone want to collapse it? To achieve what?" he said.

Long term

"I do not foresee anyone recklessly trying to stand up there and collapsing the government but you never know, you have to provide for it."

Despite holding executive office, a painting of Tsvangirai does not hang alongside Mugabe's presidential portrait in public offices.

The prime minister has been repeatedly snubbed by Mugabe's refusal to reform key areas agreed to in their regionally brokered pact.

The security forces continue to be accused of brutality and the state-owned media remains a Zanu-PF mouthpiece which Tsvangirai says still vilifies him.

"I could easily collapse this GNU (government of national unity) based on emotional attacks that have taken place, based on frustrations, but are we solving the long term problems the country is facing?," he asked.

"If this government collapses, what do you replace it with? You replace it with chaos and uncertainty and all that we have striven to achieve, stability over the last three years, will go through the window.

"So I think I'm motivated more by the greater objective than these short term things and they won't bother me. I'll keep my eye on the ball."

  • jmccaffs - 2012-01-29 13:45

    excellent !!!

      goyougoodthing - 2012-01-29 14:02

      i'm not worried, I hope the pig dies.

      Louis - 2012-01-29 14:10

      I hope those that he murdered meet him on the other side and give him the full treatment on the way to hell. Are you listening Nick, quickly open hells gates and get ready for the party

      Piet - 2012-01-29 14:57

      BIG please , make my day....

      Castle - 2012-01-29 15:21

      he has to go soon Hell is waiting for him.!!

      Jou - 2012-01-29 18:04

      Nothing more than a chewy piece of rotten biltong.

      Robert - 2012-01-29 19:42

      Are they going to release his wealth in Malaysia. Die MF die.

      Boer - 2012-01-29 23:12

      Great news. Hope this fossil pegs soon.

      Merven - 2012-01-30 07:34

      I'll put the champaign on ice so long.

      Kacee - 2012-01-30 07:37

      How can they put Fears and an article on Mugabe dying in the same article... it should read Joys over Mugabe's ill health

      Johnny - 2012-01-30 08:45

      The only "worry" as stated in the headline is that he is not going to die!!

      Freddie - 2012-01-30 10:41

      The only "worry" is that he is still alive.

      nasheenar - 2012-01-30 11:02

      Why ?????????????? Who is worrying?

      Thozi - 2012-01-30 14:09

      Worries? Should be more like anticipated celebrations - long overdue if I may add.

      eric.vanvuuren - 2012-01-30 14:45

      Vary happy, no worries mate. Even powerful people need to come to an end.

      Mike - 2012-01-30 14:51

      I'm worried that his death is going to be later rather than sooner

      Ja - 2012-01-31 09:52

      I see the man is popular .. great comments ..

      Ashley - 2012-01-31 10:01

      AAAAAhhhhhhhhhh yes pls this just made my day!!!! tick tock tick tock......Totsiens Bob, we reaaaaaaalllyyyy wil NOT be missing you. Viva Morgan Viva

      Sir-Themba - 2012-01-31 12:45

      Excellent...let us prey for Pres Robert Mugabe.....I love this man

      procold2 - 2012-01-31 16:01


      gouws2 - 2012-01-31 16:10

      He is not going anywhere! I think the devil has got a restraining order against him! Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Hey hey Hey........ GO TO HELL!!!!

  • Mabs - 2012-01-29 13:48

    Now here's one thing not to worry about!

      Sean - 2012-01-30 16:33

      For all the pain and suffer that d@@s caused to thousands of people , I hope he dies a slow and painfull death !!!

  • Alan - 2012-01-29 13:50

    My worries about his health are that he's too healthy.

  • KallieHungBal - 2012-01-29 13:50

    Why worry??

  • Brendon Alberts - 2012-01-29 13:59

    May it be slow and agonising ! Good ridance. Viva rhodesia

  • saschalipka - 2012-01-29 13:59

    Who is worried? Not me

  • Deon - 2012-01-29 14:04

    Who's worried? I'm not - in fact I hope the whole JOC is terminal

  • braamc - 2012-01-29 14:06

    Can the cancer progress already

      Castle - 2012-01-29 15:22

      he has it in the right place hope it spreads and his ding dong will fall off!!

  • ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-01-29 14:10

    The only concern for me is that he is still breathing.

  • braamc - 2012-01-29 14:11

    You have killed, displaced, destroyed, stole, you are nothing but vermin, and we are worried about your health? F-off

  • Kate - 2012-01-29 14:12

    If anyone should be worried it should be Grace. Because when ol' Bob the bastard gets called to Hell, she'll probably be dragged through the streets.

      John - 2012-01-29 17:05

      Robber and Disgrace Mugarbage should be tossed in the same hole filled with cow dung when they finally croak! Vermin!!

  • Ian - 2012-01-29 14:16

    worries, what worries, kick his fat ass into hell

  • John - 2012-01-29 14:16

    Die you fascist bastard!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Robert - 2012-01-30 01:16

      You must be a sick ANCYL to thumbs down this

      Monique - 2012-01-31 13:01

      Robert...LOL, funny name. Your surname?

  • Simon - 2012-01-29 14:18

    we don't need no water let the mother f$%@er burn , burn mother f$%@er....

      Juan - 2012-01-30 00:56

      send in NATO to help him with his health

  • aardvarkie - 2012-01-29 14:19

    Dear author / journalist, please note the error in your headline for this article and correct it to read: "Celebrations over Mugabe's ill-health".

  • Gary - 2012-01-29 14:24

    no body is worried, lets hope its quick and painfull.

  • dtdlomo - 2012-01-29 14:33

    Is President Wade not the oldest leader in Africa? How old is the President of Equatorial Guinea? Please Check your facts to make it credible.

      Perfume5 - 2012-01-29 14:37

      Mugabe is older by 2 years.

      Merven - 2012-01-30 07:37

      Correct dtdlomo, Mugabe is not a leader,he is a tyrant, he don't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with leader.

  • Pierre - 2012-01-29 14:34

    Im worried about how drunk everyone will get when he dies.

  • Perfume5 - 2012-01-29 14:34

    Stop making stories up, nobody is worried!!!

  • Larry - 2012-01-29 14:35

    Definitely not worried.

  • Brendon Alberts - 2012-01-29 14:38

    Africas food basket can return. Rhodesia rhodesia rhodesia.

  • Geronimo - 2012-01-29 14:39

    I'm certainly not "worried".

  • Vegi - 2012-01-29 14:43

    Even if Mugabe's health is failing, what he has achieved will never be reversed, even by the puppet Tshvangirai. Almost all of Zimbabwe is owned by the Zimbabweans now. Zimbabwe can only get better after the devastation brought about by the western sanctions. Mugabe is not to blame for the misery of Zimbabweans. Only the treachery of the thieving western countries is to blame.

      Anthony - 2012-01-29 14:54

      @Vegi, Shame, it must be pretty boring being stuck in this anti Western groove!!! Just a little info; There are NO Western sanctions against Zimbabwe. It are "selected' sanctions against mugabe and his inner circle. They are to prevent the likes of Grace, going to Harrods, and spend 80 000 US dollars within 30 minutes on some handbags and scarves, while Zimbabwean mothers, leave their own children in care of relatives, and than CRAWL UNDERR BARBED WIRE, to get into SA, to earn some money to keep their loveD ones ALIVE!!!!!

      march54 - 2012-01-29 15:01

      Mugabe took financial aid from the "west" and used it for his own comfort. Do not know where you got your information from but it is skewed. Are you aware of how many Zimbabweans have left the country because of his tyranny. His wife, "The First Shopper" has contributed to the decay of a once proud fledgling nation (Zimbabwe). The person who is to blame for the failure of Zimbabwe is Robert Gabriel Mugabe.

      Bernard - 2012-01-29 15:26

      You sound like an ape

      goyougoodthing - 2012-01-29 16:03

      I know you are a troll, but I really hope you get all the benefits of the government you so desperately wish for. When you are homeless, hungry and the militia have taken away all your things I hope you still cling to your ideals and your ideas about what Mugabe and his kind are about.

      Deon - 2012-01-29 16:04

      Vegetative Head - you are a moron. Have always been, will always be. EVERY world leader, government, NGO, Aid Organisation and right thinking person fingers Mugabe and his cronies for the demise of the food basket of Africa and said demise is the direct result of their greed and avarice

      braamc - 2012-01-29 16:13

      @vegetable. Not very bright are you? Just asking

      peterjohnjnb - 2012-01-29 16:39

      Shame Vegi, it must be very hard to be so dumb in this life ne?

      ReunionofIntelligentMinds - 2012-01-29 19:00

      Vegi, the role of sleeping beauty does not fit you. Somewhere along the years you missed out on happenings. Seeing that you have access to internet, please use it constructively to better your general knowledge and NOT on what you THINK.

      Vince - 2012-01-29 20:06

      WOW, please I beg you please tell us you are joking! Or does Vegi stand for BIGGEST VEGETABLE ALIVE! Hello cauliflower brain!

      Kathie - 2012-01-29 22:47

      Matako=You Lay off the chibuku. It's killed your brain cells.

      Robert - 2012-01-30 01:17

      You are realy a disturbed man

      Showerhead Zooma - 2012-01-30 06:21

      If it were not for the presence of white people, and western technologies in Africa, you would have all been extinct by now. That is a fact.

      Schalk - 2012-01-30 07:46

      crawl back under your rock you ignorant cretin!

      dave.j.colquhoun - 2012-01-30 07:59

      Hi Vegi. Obviously the placing of sanctions on Mugabe and 100 of his other cronies has done this to Zimbabwe. You obviously subscribe to the IMC (Ignorant Morons Club) and spend far too much time listening to that old propoganda record being spewed at every gathering where Bob and Grace are asked to speak. Get a life moron!!!

      Hotkop - 2012-01-30 09:05

      Owned by Zimbabweans. What now?

      Ian - 2012-01-30 13:32

      wow Vegi, you really are a vegetable!!!!!

      J-Man - 2012-01-30 15:16

      Why are you people even dignifying this blind idiot with a reply?

      Monique - 2012-01-31 13:06

      Fuk of to Zimbabwe then! SA doesn't need imbasils like you, dragging a great country down with your idiotic views and comments. GO...SHOOO.

  • Vegi - 2012-01-29 14:46

    The ex-Rhodesians who are commenting from South Africa do not even deserve to be here after committing crimes against humanity in Zimbabwe. They deserve to rot in the Zimbabwean jails.

      Bernard - 2012-01-29 15:21

      You are a beast

      Deon - 2012-01-29 16:06

      Please justify your point of view - you won't be able to but I still dare you to try. This should be fun

      Garth - 2012-01-29 16:16

      There must be two of you - or you are schizophrenic. At times you are lucid and comprehensible in your condemnation of all that is wrong in SA; then the black racist takes over and your stupid half comes out. Yes it is incorrect for the whites to wish for something that is dead and long gone, but it is also incorrect for you to be so stupid: `Mugabe is not to blame for the misery of Zimbabweans. Only the treachery of the thieving western countries is to blame.' Have you ever visited the planet earth, boy?

      Sharon - 2012-01-29 17:10

      so veggie it looks like you support mad bobs human rights achievments

      Willem - 2012-01-29 17:53

      @Vegi why don't you join old Bob

      Angelo - 2012-01-29 19:03


      Robert - 2012-01-30 01:21

      vegi - Stands for what you ea. Unfortunately its tree bark. Are you educated. I know that country and you are not part of it. Zim died and you stand up for it. Inhumane culture. Toy are a daft person!!!

      Newsreader - 2012-01-30 07:09

      Vegi - I am waiting for you. My shambok is nicely warmed up!

      Hotkop - 2012-01-30 09:07

      They deserve to arm themselves and rid zimbabwe of the sadistic, savage animals that think the way you do. Someone needs to wipe this continent of it's filth.

      Christopher - 2012-01-30 10:02

      @Vegi...please go and kill yourself! preferably before mugabe now? please....

      Ian - 2012-01-30 13:34

      come say that to my face a$$hole, then we will see who rots....CNUT

      Allan - 2012-01-30 20:42

      Vegi. I reckon you need an education before commenting the way you do. Or better yet why dont you go and plant your self in a garden of phosphorus!

      lana.vdwesthuizen - 2012-01-31 09:02

      Why don't you join Mugabe? Really...go back to Zim and STAY there. You are a freak.

      Mike - 2012-01-31 09:40

      Vegi - Mugabe has done really really well - here are some facts what will remain his legacy for years to come: 80% unemployment, An inflation rate at 516 quintillion percent, 3.4 Million Zimbabweans or a quarter of the population fled the country, the Gukurahundi where 20,000 Matabele were murdered, Life Expectancy down from 62 years in 1990 to just 40 years... should I go on....? Really an extremely great scorecard for Mugabe and Co.... but why should I preach to the blind!

      Monique - 2012-01-31 13:09

      Fuk of to Zimbabwe then! SA doesn't need imbasils like you, dragging a great country down with your idiotic views and comments. GO...SHOOO.

      Hugh - 2012-01-31 18:43

      voortseek jou froken hond.

  • MrGuyT - 2012-01-29 14:53

    No worries from me !!!

  • Deeteem - 2012-01-29 14:54

    His sheeple are better than J Z's sheeple !! May he rot in hell !!

      Vegi - 2012-01-29 15:10

      Why are you still here because your attitude does not qualify you to be here.

      Bernard - 2012-01-29 15:24

      Vegi you sound like an ape

      markmc83 - 2012-01-29 17:50

      There is no doubt in my mind that he most certainly will pay for his crimes against humanity, 1000X fold. His worst day of existence will be the day he meets his creator.

      Willem - 2012-01-29 17:54

      @Vegi not qualify! original coming from a vegi

      Robert - 2012-01-30 01:21

      Vegi- You are daft, dumb and ignorant

      Monique - 2012-01-31 13:10

      Vegi...Fuk off to Zim you are not welcome in SA.

  • Charmaine - 2012-01-29 15:12

    Who cares let the Ape die and go to Hell!

      Juan - 2012-01-30 01:03

      Qaddaffi is waiting for him there

  • yvonnecraig.linton - 2012-01-29 15:22

    oh dear Vegi-table is still waxing lyrical about something he/she/it has very little knowledge.

  • Jurgen - 2012-01-29 15:30

    The sooner this little s***t kisses this mortal coil good bye the sooner Zim can get back on its feet.Good riddance!

  • dbucher - 2012-01-29 15:30

    The Devil don't want him.....he is not fond of land grabs in his territory....heaps of negotiations between hell and the martians who could use him.......

  • Carlo Hayes - 2012-01-29 15:35

    Why are there worries over his health? We should be celebrating!

  • Lumko Ntshinka - 2012-01-29 15:39

    Worries!!? Whos worried? Id amin?

  • Arthur - 2012-01-29 15:39

    If you think this article has provoked responses, watch what happens when the bum does indeed vrek. See how many black people also dance in the streets!

  • Don - 2012-01-29 15:39

    Many amny millions will rejoice the day he goes, not just in Zim but all over the world. Sure most Zimbabweans in SA will throw a big party.

  • Charl - 2012-01-29 15:42

    May he have a slow and painful death.

  • Ronnie Atwell - 2012-01-29 15:45

    To all these viva Rhodesia people, get real. Zimbabwe has a right to exist BUT NOT under a piece of thieving, muderous excuse for a person like mugabe. Vegi u are wrong my friend, if you want to talk racist then look at Africa and it's sickoning Genocide in general.

  • Robin - 2012-01-29 16:39

    Why should anyone be worried? I'm certainly not!

  • peterjohnjnb - 2012-01-29 16:42

    I promise the day he dies, I'll return to Mass.

  • Sharon - 2012-01-29 17:07

    vrek jou bliksem

  • Bokfan - 2012-01-29 17:21

    I'm just worried he might NOT die.

  • Ed - 2012-01-29 17:27

    Let the tonsil die, answer to the Almighty for his sins and then go and rot in hell. Bye bye Bob, you will NOT be sadly missed.

  • Craig - 2012-01-29 17:32

    Hmmm 2012 is looking good already. So long Bob... No one will miss you when you do 'leave' us. hehehehe

  • louisdiemasjien - 2012-01-29 17:40

    I'm just worried he might live

  • markmc83 - 2012-01-29 17:42

    I got a fright when I read this, the headline indicated he was in good health.

  • timelord - 2012-01-29 17:43

    ah fantastic , let the bastard die real slow , and when he does kick the bucket , all the other despots will be waiting for him....

  • Bra - 2012-01-29 17:54

    This article made my day.i like the way people commented on this story hahahaa

  • Cracker - 2012-01-29 18:00

    The land in Zimbabwe is owned by only a very small sector of the population. Even if measured against the numbers of Zimbabweans who have not fled yet and stayed. We must bear in mind that we and other countries are bearing the weight of the mad land redistribution which also led to the utter destruction of the Zimbabwean economy. The REAL land reforms are still to take place. MANY Zimbabweans will claim what they were not allowed to claim. Why were only some of their countrymen favored? South Africa must seriously consider billing the bigwig Zimbabweans and the Zimbabwean government for the losses caused to South Africa. Once the commercial underpinning of land ownership and possession is removed it means the stronger for the moment will be benefited out of the situation. Mark this prediction. The strong at the moment will no longer be so privileged after the demise of certain individuals in that country. The sports will begin sooner than later. The new strong ones will take their opportunities.

      ReunionofIntelligentMinds - 2012-01-29 19:17

      South Africa is going downhill at a landmark speed. Now Zimbabwe will be able to rebuild (that's of course after the demise of little piggy)how it used to be and be prosperous once again and I foresee South Africans moving to Zim. For now Tsvangirai has not other option but to play along but once mr M. is gone he should take the lead and deliver what he promised to the West when he went to see them for support.

      Andries - 2012-01-31 03:35

      Cracker- I agree with most of you post. But your suggestion that S.A. bill the Zim bigwigs for damages must be a joke considering that their economy has totally tanked and will likely be flat lining for the foreseeable future. Considering the dumbfounding legal complexity of instigating such a claim and the huge likelihood of never seeing a red cent in compensation that’d be throwing good money after bad.

      Andries - 2012-01-31 03:38

      ReunionofIntelligentMinds –I am not as optimistic about Zim’s prospects. If African history has taught us anything it is that while African leaders are on outside they are willing to say and do anything that will help them gain power. When the achieve the hallowed halls of political power however it usually becomes a case of just- so- and- even- more- so.

  • HendrikAfrika - 2012-01-29 18:05

    What will happen if Mugabe retire, willing or due to nature. Is it not a case that the voting in Zimbabwe are along tribal lines i.e. majority of Schonas for ZanuPF and the Matebeles for the opposition. Even with those that do not feel themselve part of any of these 'tribes', due to intermarriage or with moving away from traditional rural tribal areas etc., voting for the opposition the Sjhona voting ZanuPF will still be in the majority? I am aware that Tchangirai has claimed a majority in the last voting session but that may be due to some traditional Zanu supporters not voting for Mugabe due to the mes he got the country in. Wit Mugabe out of the way the voting may again go along tribal lines. Any one with more localised info on Zimbabwe your answer will be appreciated.

  • gvangreunen - 2012-01-29 18:05

    Worries?? Who the hell is worried about this?

  • markmc83 - 2012-01-29 18:14

    Hey Bob, say what's up to Hitler, Stalin, Saddam Hussein, Charles Manson and the rest of the boyz when you arrive there, ok?

      Juan - 2012-01-30 01:07

      Well I hope he earns his ticket the same way Quadaffi did, a little torture then a bullet in the brain