ZIMBABWE – President Robert Mugabe was last night expected to return home after a month-long vacation in the Far East.
According to our correspondents in Harare, the president, who normally goes to Asia for his annual vacation, was set to arrive before midnight but at the time of going on air he had not yet arrived in the country.
One of the correspondents said state officials indicated that the return was supposed to be a private affair, unlike in the past in which thousands of supporters normally throng the Harare Airport to sing and dance for the 91-year old Zimbabwean leader whenever he returns home.
“… Here at the airport there are no supporters. It’s usually busy. There are thousands and thousands of supporters that throng the airport but the airport today is empty. There is just a dance group, a few government officials and ministers. Maybe it’s because he will be arriving late at night that is why there are few people here.”
State officials declined to comment about the few number of people that were said to be welcoming the president.
Mr. Mugabe was said to have had some health complications while on leave, a report that was dismissed as nonsensical by the government.
The president has ruled Zimbabwe for almost 36 years.
Meanwhile, Acting Zimbabwe President, Emmerson Mnangagwa welcomed President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Basongo, at the Harare International Airport, Friday.
President Nguema is on a three-day official visit to Zimbabwe where he is expected to hold bilateral talks with Zimbabwean officials.