Mugabe in Singapore for 'check-up'
15 May 2014, 16:15
Cape Town – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, 90, has reportedly returned to Singapore in what his spokesperson George Charamba says is a week-long private visit.
According to a Herald report, Charamba said Mugabe left on Tuesday and was, during his visit, also set to undergo a "routine eye check-up" following "a recent procedure on the same".
Mugabe travelled to the Far East for cataract surgery in his left eye in February. The procedure was reported by state radio as "successful".
A Reuters report said that when Mugabe addressed an independence anniversary rally on 18 April, he struggled to read his speech and his eyes appeared swollen when he removed his spectacles.
His health is a concern for Zimbabweans who fear instability if Mugabe dies in office without resolving a succession battle raging in his ruling Zanu-PF party.
The report comes a few days after Mugabe's closest ally, Didymus Mutasa, warned journalists against publishing stories on Mugabe’s health, saying the regime would deal ruthlessly with such scribes.
According to The Daily News, Mutasa said journalists and people who fuelled speculation on Mugabe's health should be punished severely.
Mugabe has long been rumoured to be seriously ill and has travelled to Singapore for medical checks several times in the past five years.
A leaked 2008 US diplomatic cable cited then bank governor Gideon Gono as saying Mugabe had prostate cancer, a claim denied by officials.
The veteran leader has rule Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980.
For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!.