Mugabe death rumours spread
HARARE – As Zimbabweans enjoyed Easter Friday holiday across the country, mounting speculation about the health of President Mugabe who is said to be in Singapore for a private visit has turned on the screws, feeding on the rumour mills amid reports that he is in the intensive care, his condition has deteriorated, and worse case scenarios, The Zimbabwe Mail can reveal.
Mugabe left the country on Saturday for Singapore where according to State media he was preparing for his daughter, Bona to start her graduate studies. But speculation about his health heightened after the politburo meeting that was described as crucial by senior party officials was cancelled. His absence also forced the cancellation of the Tuesday Cabinet meeting and that of inclusive government principals a day before.
Meanwhile, The Zimbabwe Mail reporters could not establish any truth about the rumour circulating around the country that the 88 year old has passed on. The absence of President Robert Mugabe, has caused the swirling of rumour which has has coincided with the flamboyant Nigerian Prophet TB Joshua’s prophesy.
On 5th February 2012, TB Joshua simply stated that: “We should pray for one African head of state, president, against sickness that will likely take his life. It is a long time sickness – being kept in the body for a long time. God showed me the country and the place but I’m not here to say anything like that. I am still praying to God to deliver the president concerned.”
Then on 1st April, TB Joshua reiterated the prophecy saying: “Last time I said we should pray for a leader of a country and you people gave different meanings to what I said and I want to say, God will forgive you all. I never mentioned name or time. You can never stop me from saying what God has put in my heart. What I’m saying is very close now. Whether you like it or not, pray for your leaders.
The person concerned, God showed me but I’m praying to see whether this can be changed. Pray for your leaders. A head of a nation, I’m seeing a sudden death as a result of sickness. Pray, this is Africa, not even West Africa. Lift up your voice and pray for a leader, that the Lord should redeem our leaders in this continent of Africa. In Jesus Christ’s name we pray. I will continue to bring this issue, when it is too close, the name, the country. Pray for your country, your continent, the whole world. Prayer.”
This prophecy by TB Joshua has been followed by the death of Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika who has died of a heart attack after being flown to South Africa. What has caused panic in Zimbabwean government corridors is President Mugabe’s failure to meet the high profile visit by Chinese Premier, Mr Hui Liang Yu.
A source in government says Vice-President Joice Mujuru had to cut short her visit to Asia on reported President Mugabe’s collapse at his home on last Friday. Meanwhile, the Chinese Vice Premier and his delegation have left Harare for China via Seychelles.
The high powered delegation was seen off at the Harare international airport by Acting President Mujuru, Foreign Affairs Minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and other senior government officials. Mugabe’s absence has paralysed State operations as crucial meetings were shelved amid widening fissures in the dysfunctional inclusive government.
A Zanu PF special politburo meeting expected to chart the way forward on the constitution-making process failed to take place on Wednesday, heightening Zimbabwes anxiety on whether the former ruling party will remain in it or pull out. With Zanu PF increasingly getting impatient with the slow pace at which the new governance charter is progressing, expectations were that the meeting would enable the party to take a position.
The party has in recent weeks indicated they have lost faith in the three constitution drafters and threatened to withdraw from the process. Mugabes spokesperson George Charamba on Wednesday confirmed the veteran leader is yet to return, but did not say when. None other than Mugabe can chair the Politburo, the party’s supreme decision-making body outside congress.
He is not yet in the country. When he arrives, we will let you know. We dont divulge the Presidents travelling arrangements for security reasons, Charamba said.
On Monday, the principals meeting between Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara failed to take place and Cabinet similary failed to convene on Tuesday. As a result, Tsvangirai attempted to convene a Council of Ministers meeting on a day traditionally meant for Cabinet and was snubbed by the Zanu PF component in government.
Cracks in government also widened yesterday after Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere issued a statement claiming the State had effectively taken over all foreign mining firms that have not complied with the indigenisation law to dispose 51% shareholding to locals.
But, Tsvangirai said: That issue has not been discussed and agreed upon by government. The Prime Minister wishes to inform the public in general and mining firms in particular that the inclusive government has not sanctioned the ministers actions that are a threat to investment in the industry.
President Mugabe, 88, has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980, visited Singapore several times last year. His spokesman said the president had gone for cataract surgery amid repeated media reports that he was suffering from cancer.
His health has been the subject of much speculation, especially since WikiLeaks last year released a 2008 US diplomatic cable saying central bank chief Gideon Gono had told then-US ambassador James McGee that Mugabe had prostate cancer and had been advised by doctors he had less than five years to live.
Mugabe’s health has been cited as one reason that a faction of his ZANU-PF party has pushed to rush new elections. But Mugabe, who has already been named as his party’s candidate for the next elections, has shot down rumours that he is sick. The Zimbabwe Mail