Robert Mugabe’s health has always been the subject of vast speculation. When a person is on the other side of ninety, such speculation is not unusual.
When despite the hindrances of ageing, such a person persists in carrying out presidential duties in a country that currently has a shaky economy and increasing dissent, speculations on health are almost guaranteed.
Over the years, speculations on President Mugabe’s health have mostly resulted in death rumours that permeate Zimbabwe’s media space whenever the President is away from the country for any length of time.
President Robert Mugabe recently celebrated his 93rd birthday and was interviewed as part of the schedule of the celebrations. Both the interview aired on his birthday and a speech made at a subsequent birthday celebration on Saturday saw the President appearing quite frail. In the interview and the speech that he delivered at the birthday celebration, the President took several significant pauses and sometimes had his speech dissolve into mumbles.
It should, therefore, not come as too much of a surprise that the President’s spokesman has announced that President Mugabe flew to Singapore on Wednesday for a “scheduled medical review”.
George Charamba told the state-run Herald newspaper;
“The president left this morning for Singapore for a scheduled medical review,”
“We expect him back in the country early next week.”
President Mugabe has made regular trips to Singapore for medical check-ups and all those trips have led to speculations on his health. In 2011, for instance, WikiLeaks released a US diplomatic cable from 2008 saying that Mugabe was reported to have prostate cancer and had less than five years to live.
This trip may result once again in several Mugabe death rumours but it should be helpful to Zimbabweans to remember the President’s famous quip on the matter; “Yes, I was dead. It’s true I was dead. I resurrected as I always do once I get back to my country. I am real again.”