By Eddie Cross
This is just a short note to follow my letter entitled “A New Beginning” in which I detailed the flight from Swaziland to Dubai, via Harare and Lusaka of Robert Mugabe. In that letter I said he was not going to be able to come back and was probably the victim of a stroke.
He left the SADC Summit on Tuesday evening and his aircraft returned Saturday morning after a 11 hour flight from Dubai. That meant he was in Dubai for two nights and three days. That is not enough time for anything to be done to him and the State media here are going to great lengths to ridicule talk of his health and possible incapacity.
However our sources are impeccable and there is no doubt that he is very ill and frail. There is also talk that he needs an operation but that his chances of survival are limited and that Singapore – his traditional choice for frequent medical treatments has said that they are reluctant to allow further visits on the basis that his survival his in doubt.
Pictures of the man at the Agricultural Show in Harare last week, unable to get shoes on his feet (circulation problems linked to heart conditions) and struggling to stand by himself or walk, sleeping in his seat at the Japan/Africa summit in Kenya and an awful image of him on the podium.
Followed by a very public collapse in the SADC summit and his hurried departure at 22.00 hrs for Harare where he did not get off the plane which then loaded a medical team and fuel and set off for Singapore.
Then the sudden diversion to Lusaka and another departure to Singapore with an unplanned turn over the Indian Ocean to Dubai can only mean a health crisis.
In recent months he has clearly not been fully in charge of national affairs. He is a frail, shrunken old man with obvious health problems. Flying him around the world in an aircraft is certainly not ideal treatment of care – more like a deliberate attempt to kill him.
I remain convinced that he cannot come back from this. This is the end of the Mugabe era and the start of a new era under new leadership for Zimbabwe the only questions are how and when.