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Mugabe's Health Back in The Spotlight

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.

President Robert Mugabe’s health was back in the spotlight Tuesday after he left for Singapore prompting his spokesman George Charamba to again dispute reports the long-ruling leader is suffering from prostate cancer.

Charamba told Reuters news agency that Mr. Mugabe, who turns 91 years old on Friday, is visiting the Asian nation for a routine eye check-up, and that he will be back in time for his birthday festivities on Saturday.

Mr. Mugabe made several trips to Singapore last year and was there again in January. Although his handlers have pushed back hard against reports the president has cancer, the rumor has refused to go away.

Critics say Zimbabwe has some of the best eye specialists in the world and that there is no need for Mr. Mugabe to spend a lot of money seeking cure elsewhere.

“Look, before we even think of whether it’s not cheaper or wiser to pay for the doctors from Singapore to come and treat him in Zimbabwe, the truth is Zimbabwe has got some of the best eye surgeons in the world like Dr. Guramatunhu,” says political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya.

“There is no need for the president to be going that far just for an eye operation. It is absurd.”