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Zimbabwe Presidential Spokesman Declines to Reveal Mugabe Health Status

A Buddhist delegate appears amongst other delegates as they stand during the national anthem at the closing session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Zimbabwe’s presidential spokesperson, George Charamba, has fueled public speculation that President Robert Mugabe may be facing some problems after he refused to reveal to various media organizations his current health status and the country he is visiting.

Charamba refused to discuss the issue with Studio 7, NewsDay and other news entities soon after the President cut short his attendance at the just-ended Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit in Swaziland and flew to Dubai.

He told the independent NewsDay newspaper that the media is always getting it wrong on the president’s whenever he is out of Zimbabwe.

According to NewsDay, Charamba declined to reveal the purpose of President Mugabe’s visit to Dubai, saying he would rather let the media dwell and delight on “a default explanation” that his boss was ill.

“Each time you people don’t know the purpose of the president’s visit, there is always a default explanation that he is ill. So the life of the president springs between a known mission and illness. If I don’t tell you the purpose, it should be illness. I will not give you the purpose of the president’s visit to run away from the default explanation. This is not new. It is year in, year out; he is sick, he dies and resurrects. His life until the age of 92 revolves around illness and death.”

The newspaper reports that the president visited Dubai to pick up his family en-route to Singapore where he normally receives some medical attention for what the state claims is related to eye problems.

However, other sources told NewsDay that Mr. Mugabe had a scheduled trip to the Middle East on private business.