Mugabe close to death: reports
[Sydney Morning Herald] Zim-bob-wean president Bob
Octogenarian President-for-Life of Zim-bob-we who turned the former Breadbasket of Africa into the African Basket Case...
is reportedly fighting for his life in a Singapore hospital with his wife and close family by his bedside.
The 88-year-old dictator, who is believed to be suffering from prostate cancer, flew to Singapore late last month on what his aides described as a "private visit".
A senior member of Mugabe's Zanu PF party told The Zim-bob-we Mail that Mr Mugabe was enjoying an Easter break with his family in Asia, and denied that he was seeking treatment for a medical condition.
However rumours are swirling that the ageing leader, now in power for three decades, is seeking treatment for prostate cancer following several bouts of therapy in Asia in recent years.
Mugabe was said to be close to death last night and was surrounded by close family, including his wife Grace, The Daily Mail reported.
It came as sources close to Mr Mugabe told The Daily Telegraph in London that Mugabe had reached a secret "gentleman's agreement" to hand over power in Zim-bob-we to his feared defence minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former spy chief nicknamed "The Crocodile" and known for his ruthless style.
Mnangagwa was widely blamed for the brutality following the 2008 presidential election after Mugabe's rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, took an early lead in the voting.
Mr Mugabe's aides said he was also in Singapore to oversee arrangements for his daughter Bona to begin post-graduate university study, The Zim-bob-we Mail reported.
"The President is on his Easter holidays, like everyone else," the unidentified aide told the newspaper.
"He returns to his post this week, at the same time as those who are asking about his whereabouts from their holiday hideouts."
The ailing leader's health has been the subject of intense speculation since WikiLeaks last year released a 2008 US diplomatic cable saying central bank chief Gideon Gono had told former US ambassador James McGee that Mr Mugabe had prostate cancer that would kill him by 2013.
The WikiLeaks document said: "President Robert Mugabe has prostate cancer that has metastasised and, according to doctors, will cause his death in three to five years."
Despite frequent speculation fuelled by Mr Mugabe's trips to Asia, top Zanu PF officials have repeatedly denied that Mr Mugabe, who has ruled Zim-bob-we since 1980, has a health problem.
They said previous trips had been necessitated by a cataract operation for Mr Mugabe and by back injuries his wife sustained falling in the couple's Harare mansion.
Posted by: Fred