Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has traveled to Singapore for the fifth time in four months with officials in Harare explaining that he returned to escort his ailing wife Grace home though some observers believe he made the trip for his own medical treatment.
News reports have persistently circulated in recent years that he sought treatment in the Asian city state for prostrate cancer, but his staff has steadfastly denied such reports.
Zimbabwe news reports said Mr. Mugabe flew out of Harare on Friday to collect his wife, He dropped her off in Singapore in mid-April, then returned to Harare.
Mr. Mugabe, 87, went to Singapore in January for his annual break, traveling there again in February for what a spokesman said was the removal of an eye cataract. He went to Singapore again in March for a follow-up to that procedure, his spokesman said.
Most recently he has traveled the 8,200 kilometers from Harare to Singapore twice in the past two weeks at considerable cost to the government, aboard Air Zimbabwe jets.
From Singapore Mr. Mugabe was to head to Rome for the annual meeting of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
Political analyst Charles Mangongera said President Mugabe’s trips are causing people to speculate about his ability to effectively govern.
Publisher Ibbo Mandaza noted that some argue Mr. Mugabe should be impeached for his extended absences which have affected government business.