Veteran Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe was last Friday (February
11) evening whisked to Singapore for “ an urgent eye review” amid
reports that he could have lost his eye sight.
His spokesperson, George Charamba told the media at the weekend that
the 86 old Mugabe flew to the Asian country “at the request of his opticians”.
Said Charamba, “The President left for Singapore on Friday. He went for a an eye review following a small medical procedure he underwent while on holiday (in that country).
“He had a cataract in his eye; so that was removed and he was asked to
return by opticians.” Charamba said the veteran ruler would be back home in time for his 87th birthday on February 21.
Medical journal describe a cataract as a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects sight, normally in older people, and can lead to blindness.
In January, it was reported that Mugabe had undergone a prostate operation in Malaysia, but Mugabe dismissed the media reports as “naked lies” on his return saying “…we (with family) were just resting”.
Last year, in a rare interview with Reuters news agency Mugabe said: “I don’t know how many times I die but nobody has ever talked about my
“I suppose they don’t want to, because it would mean they would mention my resurrection several times and that would be quite divine, an achievement for an individual who is not divine…”
The speculation – rampant in Harare and backed up by several
well-placed sources – was that the 86-year-old had rushed back to Asia
for a prostate operation.
Since his return his public appearances have been fewer than usual, even on state run television.
When news filtered through that Zimbabwe’s only leader for the last 30 years was flown to Singapore, speculation spread that he lost his eye-sight earlier on Friday.
“We have able eye specialists here home, so why fly him thousands of miles… is that he has lost his sight” asked Gilbert Mathe.
The health of Mugabe, one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, has been the subject of constant local and foreign media speculation over the past decade or so.