PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe, who underwent a prostate cancer operation in Singapore in December last year, secretly went for a review in the Far East country last week under the guise of collecting his wife Grace, who was recovering from an operation to remove her appendix.
Owen Gagare/Herbert Moyo
The hordes of Zanu PF supporters who gathered at the Harare International Airport to welcome back Grace on Sunday were shocked to see her accompanied by the veteran leader.
Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba rushed to tell the media his boss “joined his wife on his way back from Dubai”.
Government sources however said Mugabe, who fell at the airport on his return from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he had taken over the rotational African Union (AU) chairmanship a fortnight ago, had in fact gone to Singapore for a review of the pre-Christmas operation.
Family sources say the veteran leader recuperated in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, after the operation, which contributed to his delayed homecoming.
“Does it make sense for him (Mugabe) to travel all the way to Dubai just to fetch his wife so that they come back home together? The president has medical issues of his own and had gone for a review following the operation he had while on vacation,” said a government official.
Charamba refused to shed light on the subject suggesting that such issues are a private matter between doctor and patient.
“Is the information coming from his doctor?” he asked.
“If it is coming from your source then it sheds light on your information. Who else but a doctor and his patient can shed light on such issues?”
Mugabe, who turns 91 tomorrow, is battling prostate cancer and eye problems and is widely deemed no longer fit to govern as old age and health problems take a heavy toll on him. Every year when he goes for his annual holidays in the Far East, Mugabe passes through Parkway Cancer Centre at Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore which offers state of the art hormonal therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery to prostate cancer patients.
The hospital also has various facilities, including the Parkway Eye Centre where Mugabe had cataracts removed from his eyes. The centre offers the new LenSx technology, and is able to offer quick, blade-less and pain-free cataract removal.
Over the past few years Mugabe has been regularly shuttling to Singapore, suggesting serious health problems even though officially he is only said to be suffering from eye cataracts and has confirmed having a knee problem.
Those close to him say he has metastasized prostate cancer.