Mugabe visits hospital again

Mugabe is in Equatorial Guinea to attend an African Union Summit which starts this Thursday.

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He was met in Equatorial Guinea by Zimbabwean Ministers, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Saviour Kasukuwere and Olivia Muchena as well as some senior government officials from the country.

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Mugabe, recently returned from a week-long trip to Malaysia, was spotted arriving at Medical Chambers just after 2pm yesterday.

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The centre houses specialist doctors and physicians like urologists, oncologists, gynaecologists and eye specialists.

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While presidential spokesperson George Charamba refused to comment on Mugabe’s health problems and his now frequent visits to Medical Chambers, sources said the 87-year-old leader was being checked by specialists for an undisclosed illness before he flies out today to Equatorial Guinea.

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International media and diplomats have said that Mugabe has prostate cancer associated with his advanced age – which his office has refuted strenuously.

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When the Daily News arrived at the Medical Chambers yesterday, armed soldiers were milling around the centre while police and plain clothes security details were planted around the whole area adjacent to the facility.

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The frail octogenarian, who has been at the helm of the country since Independence in 1980, is expected to travel to Equatorial Guinea today where he will attend an African Union summit.

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Mugabe, who regional leaders have reportedly been trying to persuade to retire, has been to the Far East five times since January with sources saying the trips were being used to get him medical assistance.

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However, Charamba said early this year that Mugabe had been to the Far East for an eye cataract operation.

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According to health experts, there is a link between prostate cancer and cataracts. They say that men who take tamsulosin hydrochloride, which treats urinary detention, are at high risk of developing complications after cataract surgery.

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A local doctor who preferred anonymity said that at 87, one is prone to different kinds of infections.

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He said that common diseases which are normally easy to treat become difficult to treat at that age.

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“Dementia and amnesia are also very common at this age,” said the doctor.

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At the Sadc summit in Sandton, South Africa last week, Mugabe reportedly referred to President Jacob Zuma as Mandela in a sign that health experts say shows that dementia may be taking its toll on him.

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And at the Livingstone, Sadc Troika Summit in March, Mugabe moved around the hotel in a golf cart.

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Mugabe’s illness is causing a lot of divisions within Zanu PF with several party heavyweights jostling to take over from him.

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A top military man has also indicated that he would be interested in taking over from Mugabe who has avoided naming a successor.

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Securocrats have since the beginning of the year exerted themselves more forcefully than ever on the former ruling party in their quest for power.

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Last week Brigadier General Douglas Nyikayaramba repeated the army’s sentiments that they would not serve any other president other than
Mugabe.

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He went as far as to call Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai a threat to national security a development which political analysts say was a coup threat.

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Constitutionally, if the president is incapacitated, the last acting vice president will take over the reins until elections can be held within three months.

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Sadc leaders have also raised concern on whether Mugabe was still fit enough to rule bearing in mind his advanced age and his failing health and
some have reportedly advised him to step down.

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The octogenarian however says that he is doing well for his age and that he would like to hit the 100 year mark.