Singapore – The video below shows Mugabe, walking with a discernible limp, entering the private Gleneagles Hospital with his wife, Grace, and bodyguards pleading with the cameraperson not to film the veteran leader.
The Gleneagles Hospital was named one of the world’s top 10 hospitals for medical tourists in 2013. In a statement, Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba said the president was on a week-long “private visit” during which he will undergo “a routine eye check-up following a recent procedure on the same”. There have long been reports though that Mugabe is suffering from cancer. There is a well-regarded cancer clinic at the hospital.
Earlier this month Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa suggested that the Zimbabwean government could criminalise discussion of both Mugabe’s health and the presidential succession. It is Mr Mugabe’s second visit to Singapore for medical reasons this year.
The Zimbabwe president was last seen on the international stage at the canonisation of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II in April. He is banned from travel to the European Union and the United States for alleged human rights abuses and electoral fraud. But the ban does not apply to the Vatican, and Mugabe met Pope Francis during the canonisation ceremony.
Grace Mugabe can be heard asking the cameraperson You shouldn’t take photo; why are you taking photo?
Presidential spokesman George Charamba said the Zanu PF leader would be in the Southeast Asian country for a week-long private visit “during Â (which he) will undergo a routine eye check-up following a recent procedure on the same.
Gleneagles Hospital says its Parkway Eye Centre offers the latest in blade-free LASIK and cataract removal surgery. Mugabe has admitted having cataracts removed on both eyes in Singapore.
According to Channel 4 however, the hospital’s Parkway Cancer Centre is also well-regarded but top aides dismiss reports Mugabe is also battling advanced prostate cancer.
Earlier this month Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa suggested that the Zimbabwean government could criminalise discussion of both Mugabe’s health and the presidential succession.
Mutasa, also Zanu PF’s Secretary for Administration, on Monday summoned members to another politburo meeting scheduled for Wednesday to discuss â€œvarious issuesâ.
His insists he will serve out his new term in full, ruling out retirement despite concerns about his advanced age and alleged poor health.