Mugabe off to Singapore – again
Robert Mugabe has once again travelled to Singapore, on what is believed to be his sixth visit this year, according to news reports. The Standard newspaper reported that on Friday Mugabe left for Singapore to collect his ‘ailing’ wife Grace, and the pair are expected back in Zimbabwe on Wednesday.
From the beginning of the year Mugabe has made a number of trips to the East. Some of the trips include one in January, where he travelled to Singapore on holiday and underwent a reported eye-operation.
Then in February he returned to Singapore, with his spokesman George Charamba claiming it was to correct this eye operation. Mugabe was back in March, with ZANU PF again insisting that this trip was once again to do with his eyes. The party has refused to entertain contrasting media reports that Mugabe has in fact been traveling to the Eastern country for treatment for prostate cancer.
The state of his health was laid bare at a recent SADC meeting, where he reportedly had to move around in a golf cart. A few weeks later, he left for Singapore, and the main reason was reportedly to accompany his wife, Grace. However, he returned soon after, looking ‘fit’ at the Independence Day Celebrations.
At the same time, Zimbabweans have been left to speculate on the whereabouts of Grace, following her conspicuous absence from the public eye.
Although she usually accompanies Mugabe to state events, she was not present at the Independence Day celebrations in Harare, where Mugabe addressed the crowds, nor was she at the Heroes Acre funeral for the Central Intelligence Organisation Deputy Director General, Menard Muzariri.
Various reasons have been given for Grace’s absence, with some claiming she is receiving treatment for a hip problem that allegedly arose 14 years ago. There are other reports claiming that she is actually studying in China.
Skeptics, however, claim that the main reason for Mugabe’s trips to the East is for treatment his deteriorating health and that the Grace story is a ploy to divert attention from his problems.
The health of the 87 year old continues to be debated, and Mugabe’s office has dismissed claims that his trips are to treat a cancerous prostate gland. Last year Mugabe was also forced to deny further reports that said he had cancer, and had suffered a stroke. SW Radio Africa