Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe being greeted by Vice President Joice Mujuru upon his arrival from Singapore for an annual holiday. Mugabe is the leader of the ZANU-PF ruling party in this Southern African state., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
President back from Singapore
Friday, 13 April 2012 00:00
President Mugabe talked with Vice President Mujuru soon after his arrival at the Harare International Airport yesterday
Takunda Maodza Senior Reporter
PRESIDENT Mugabe returned home yesterday from Singapore dispelling media reports that he was unwell.
His visit to the Asian country on private business a week ago fuelled speculation over his health.
International news channels and some local private media organisations spread rumours that President Mugabe was ill and hospitalised in Singapore.
This was despite the fact that the Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity had issued a statement saying that President Mugabe had gone to Singapore to oversee postgraduate arrangements for his daughter Bona, who graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours) in Accountancy degree last year.
The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces touched down at the Harare International Airport at 7am accompanied by First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe.
Vice President Joice Mujuru, Media, Information and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu, State Security Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, senior Government officials and service chiefs were at the airport to welcome him.
Also at the airport to witness the President’s return were journalists from most of the media houses in the country.
Some of the journalists had gathered at the airport as early as 5am.
Minister Shamu told the journalists President Mugabe was fit and fine.
“He is as fit as a fiddle. You have seen the reality,” he said.
Minister Shamu criticised some local media houses that spread lies about the President’s health.
“Why do we spread rumours? Why do we lie about our Head of State? Why do we pander to the agenda of imperialists? The issue is about regime change,” Minister Shamu said.
He took a swipe at local media houses that are being used as tools by imperialists.
“They have always been at the forefront to denigrate the success of the revolution. We have a Press that is used to propagate the agenda of imperialism,” Minister Shamu said.
He said from the airport, President Mugabe was going to chair Cabinet.
Cabinet, which traditionally sits on Tuesday, met yesterday.
It could not meet on Tuesday as the President was away.
President Mugabe left the country for Singapore on March 31. His absence generated wild speculation about his health in the local private media and international news channels.
Rumours spread like veldfire with some local media houses even speculating about “the post-Mugabe era”.
News headlines in countries as far afield as Australia, Canada, Britain and the US went on to celebrate the death “of Africa’s longest serving President”.
The private media has always speculated about President Mugabe’s health whenever he travels outside the country on private business.