Mugabe back home looking healthy after rumours of collapse

2016-01-23 13:04
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Harare - Zimbabwe's long-time leader Robert Mugabe is back home and he looks to be in good health ahead of a meeting with ally Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the president of Equatorial Guinea.

Footage posted on the state-owned Herald newspaper's website showed Mugabe, who will turn 92 next month, greeting ministers and ruling party officials energetically as he arrived at Harare International Airport late on Friday.

Later, Grace Mugabe gently held his arm as the pair walked along the red carpet at the airport, pictures show.

This time last year Mugabe slipped on a carpet when he returned from an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, provoking a storm of comment and much online humour. His wife was not with him at the time.

The Mugabes have been on a month's vacation in the Far East and Dubai.

Speculation that he had suffered a heart attack and collapsed during his holiday aroused little interest inside Zimbabwe, since similar reports occur each time the president goes away in January.

Prominent Zimbabwe journalist Dumisani Muleya tweeted on Saturday: "So Mugabe is back home after a global storm of rumours about his death by those waiting with ghoulish relish for his demise."

Brezhnev Malaba, a former editor of the state-controlled Sunday Mail added: "And he's fit as a fiddle, as u can see comrade".

Both vice presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko visited the Mugabes in Dubai during their holiday.

Mphoko was reported to have taken a delegation of 29 officials with him to visit the president, sparking outrage because of the presumed cost involved.

Zimbabwe's economy is in dire straits, with the authorities struggling to find cash to pay civil servants their annual 13th cheques, which were due last month.

Equatorial Guinea's president is on a three-day "working visit" to Harare ahead of an AU summit, the Herald reported.

Relations between Harare and Malabo were strengthened when Zimbabwe intercepted a group of mercenaries allegedly on their way to overthrow Nguema in 2004. The mercenaries were led by Briton Simon Mann.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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