Africa  

Mugabe in Singapore for first trip since ouster

(FILES) This file photo taken on January 18, 2010 shows former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe giving a speech during the burial of Sunny Ntombiyelanga Takawira, wife of the late vice president of the Zimbabwe African National Union, Leopold Takawira, in Harare at the National Heroes Acre. Robert Mugabe resigned as president of Zimbabwe on November 21, 2017, parliament speaker Jacob Mudenda told lawmakers, ending a 37-year rule defined by brutality and economic collapse. “I Robert Gabriel Mugabe in terms of section 96 of the constitution of Zimbabwe hereby formally tender my resignation… with immediate effect,” said speaker Mudenda, reading the letter./ AFP PHOTO / DESMOND KWANDE

Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe, 93, who was ousted from power last month, has flown to Singapore for a medical check-up, his ex-spokesman said Thursday.

Mugabe and his wife Grace have not been seen in public since he was forced to resign after a military takeover brought a sudden end to his authoritarian 37-year reign.

“He is in Singapore. It’s part of his package as a retired president to travel overseas. He routinely goes to Singapore to meet with his doctors,” George Charamba told AFP.

Charamba, who is now President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesman, said that the new government was keen to show respect to Mugabe.

“There is no quest to humiliate or ostracise him,” he said.

“The idea was to extricate him from the clutches of the cabal which had captured him. That has been done so that his legacy comes out shining.”

The military stepped in on November 14 and ushered Mnangagwa into office after a power struggle with supporters of Grace Mugabe, 52, who had emerged as Mugabe’s chosen successor.

Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe from independence in 1980, is accused of brutal repression and bringing the country to economic ruin.

He has been in increasingly frail health and has reportedly battled prostate cancer.

In recent years he has made regular trips abroad for undisclosed medical reasons.

Mnangagwa was formerly one of Mugabe’s closest allies, and the ruling ZANU-PF party remains in control.

Mugabe will miss the party’s annual conference in Harare on Friday when Mnangagwa is expected to be confirmed as its candidate for elections next year.

The new president has vowed to revive the shattered economy by boosting agricultural production and attracting foreign investment.

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Robert MugabeZimbabwe


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