Mugabe mystery: Charamba speaks

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba yesterday said the 89-year-old leader was completing his annual leave at his Borrowdale home, quashing speculation that he had either died or was very ill.

Since Mugabe arrived last Friday from vacation, speculation has been rife on social media that all was not well with the veteran leader.

Speaking over the phone yesterday, Charamba, said his boss remained on holiday until month-end so there was no need for the President to make a public appearance.

Mugabe’s uncharacteristic silence since he arrived has prompted a wave of messages on social media networks speculating about a turn for the worse in his health, or even his death.

Speculation about Mugabe’s well-being was fuelled after a State-controlled newspaper used a file picture in a report which announced his return from Singapore last week.

State TV also failed to produce footage on the president’s return, sparking frenzied speculation whether he had indeed returned home.

Mugabe turns 90 next month.

Charamba said Mugabe had not made a public appearance because he was still on his annual leave.

“I know for a fact that what has prompted your inquiry is the fact that there is a story on the (news) wires that if the president is alleged to have come back, why are they not using fresh images of him,” Charamba told the Daily News.

“It is not the responsibility of the presidential spokesperson to produce fresh images. That is a press function.”

He said it was the responsibility of media houses to dispatch reporters and photographers to cover the departure and arrival of the president.

But the independent media was not informed of his travel itinerary before he returned home, with Charamba only advising in December that Mugabe was due back in Harare mid-January.

“When the president left, I informed you and you took my word, when have we ever given you a picture to say he has left?” Charamba asked.

“Now the president comes back at around 6:30 pm, which we told you and now you want a picture? The president came back through the airport which is open to the public. He used the tarmac which is not a no-go area but newspapers did not come to take a picture.”

Asked how Mugabe, who makes frequent trips to the Far East ostensibly for cataract treatment was feeling, Charamba was non-committal.

“I do not know how he is. The president is still on leave and I am not obligated to go every morning to say Mr President, how is your limb,” he said, adding: “President Mugabe has the right to go on leave. It is a statutory right. It is a human right.”

Official sources said he had visited his rural home last weekend, and also visited his sister in hospital in Harare last week.

Mugabe traditionally takes his annual leave in January each year.

Comments (49)

Pane nyaya apa. Charamba doesnt know Mugabe condition. The cat is slowly and surely coming out

mafikizolo - 16 January 2014

The President is on leave. true it is a human right and President is also human. Long live the Presidento!!!! We pray that the Lord restores his health, strengthens him and increase his wisdom. amen.

Believer - 16 January 2014

long live Gushungo and accomplish the task that you were left to finish by our father Zimbabwe

truezimbo - 16 January 2014

kazombumba manje kadhara kaye

alter ego - 16 January 2014

But why do people predict wrong things,its God who gives life and i'ts him again to take it.Muchanyara mudhara achisvika 100 years.

faith - 16 January 2014

Ii what we need is a person who can make the country work and move forward and upgrade the lives of his pepole and let people suffer. Im not after personality but results.

MNK - 16 January 2014

He can still be alive but I wish him dead, when he dies i will celebrate even 20 years from now. Die you murderer you gave made us become the skunk of the would. he wished many people dead and he killed them, natural extinction is approaching you childless man.

Rasta - 16 January 2014

Look here Charamba,don't keep us in wilderness,you said the whole of Zimbabwe "Voted" for Zanupf so to say they like Mugabe.Fine,since he was "voted"by the Zimbabweans it is our right also to know how our "president" condition is.Should you people from zanu pf refuse to tell us the truth,we will wait for the 21st Birthday,to ascertain his condition.Ramba zvako George but tichazvibata chete.bloody bastard.

josefa chinotimba - 16 January 2014

We can not wish for someone to die especially our president. But tinoramba nhubu dziriku rarama ne a corrupt system iri munyika medu. President vakazorora zvavo vari kumba kwavo ku Borrowdale it's okay not kuti rambai muripo kuti tinyatso kuba.

Maphate - 16 January 2014

kuti aripi hazvitipi sadza mumba wi wil so b hapi to here dat z dead, right now w a witholdin our cellebration . wi a waitin so badly .

gakachu or damage controller - 16 January 2014

Imbwa, iyi inonzi George Charamba, better yafa kwasara gudo rinonzi Mugabe. In fact, imbwa negudo izvi ngazvife. Our country is a mess caused by Mugabe and ZANU PF. If I had my way, I would have caused an earthquake of a magnitude of 10.0 on rickter scale at all ZANU PF members, supporters and sympathisers so that they all die. They massacred thousands of Ndebele speaking people in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces, all for the sake of power.

Gonzo, The Mighty - 16 January 2014

Ngakafe isu magweja tinakirwe kukwekwe.Todawo mari yengoda ibatsire vanhu vemunyika muno not kuti idyiwe ne ZANU PF ne matsotsi ma ZHING ZHONG

Manuel Mandipaza - 16 January 2014

dont worry guys 21 february is just 3 weeks from today.further more january is over

mafirakureva - 16 January 2014

imi vekudaily news hamurwarewo here munongoti shishita nemudhara azvichembererawo hake. at his age its common for him to have those ailments that are afflicting him. while its good that you are doing your duty to inform the nation you tend to go on an over drive when it comes to health issues related to the president.

cde churucheminzwa - 16 January 2014

Mugabe did not come back home. He is still in the far east seeking treatment. The truth is Mugabe underwent an operation as he always does when he goes there. This time it was not as succesful as thought an he needs time to recuperate. That time when they had soldiers out guarding state house and so no, they were afraid of a coup.Now they decide that if Mugabe is assumed within the borders no one would dare try such a stunt. I guess we will just wait and see....if Mugabe dies in Singapore Charamba will be hard pressed to prove how someone can be in Borrowdale and Singapore at the same time. If he recoveres and cmoes back home......again, how did he manage to leave and come back and then cmoe back again?

OMuhle - 16 January 2014

mugabe the late

shon corner - 16 January 2014

Gu Gu gu Gu Gu Gushungo Gushungo Gushungo Gu Gu Gu Gu Gu Gushhuuuuuuungo Gushungo

papa - 16 January 2014

It so happens every year that that the President goes on leave, rumour starts that he is dead or ill. Shame on you! And long live our President!

kuda - 16 January 2014

long live comrade mugabe takaona nhamo nemabhunu

chekudya chose - 16 January 2014

long live comrade mugabe takaona nhamo nemabhunu

chekudya chose - 16 January 2014

Kupedzera holiday kuBorrowdale kokuMalaysia kwasiiwa nani nyama dziri kudzimba

CDE TONGO - 16 January 2014

mugabe refusal to just die is proof that prayers do not work

makandiwa zealot - 16 January 2014

The bible say death and life are in the hands of the almighty. what do you benefit from someones death, especially the one appointed by God to be the leader of this beloved nation. long live president Mugabe, God will continue to be with you until the critics shut their mouth. you are a blessing to Zimbabwe gushungo

mutendi - 16 January 2014

Nedzinofizura George

Ianaldo - 16 January 2014

Nedzinofizura George

Ianaldo - 16 January 2014

ma M D C muri mhata muchanyara nokuti va MUGABE CHIGWINDIRI

NGWENA - 16 January 2014


fear itself - 16 January 2014

Veduwe ngatityeyi Mwari. Iwe unoshama muromo uchiti ngaafe unoziva here kuti muromo wako unogona kusavharika? Unoziva here kuti rurimi rwako runo namira ku roof yemuromo kana Mwari ada kukurwisa. Ko kana aripo pakutonga whether nerigging kana feya feya, Mwari ndiye unotendera kana kusatendera. Minamato yenyu iyi yokuti munhu afe ndoyaita kuti matenga aite se brass so that there is no dew or blessing falling on the economy.

Mar Ire Commons - 16 January 2014

Isu zhara yatirikuona kuno kuMberengwa tinohwa kuti dai zvaende titambure nemumwe . Daily news munogona basa chose rambai makadaro muchitipakurira yababa Chatunga , kuti tisazuwa nezvake ngaazorore kumusha kwake hatimbomutsvaki . Ndinoti Musiki dai makanda chiribhani chanye matora zvaenda tosvika rinhi tichitambudzika vavo vana vachidhla vuchi hwenyika vachirasha

MukarangawekuMberengwa - 16 January 2014

Nxa efile singayibonga inkosi. His death is long overdue. We want our lives back.

juliet mpofu - 16 January 2014

The president's state remains a mystery, even though Charamba has spoken, he has said nothing really

Patience - 17 January 2014

president will die after reaching over 100 years,forget all these lies.

Chaitichouya Chikopokopo - 17 January 2014

Why Mujuru and Mnangagwa fight for succession whilst failing to address the plight of civil servants. Tinoda mari, saka ifai. Zvarwadza manje ko isu hamutionewo ngei?????

Satan weRoman Empire - 17 January 2014

I find it very difficult to resist to respond to reporter Thelma and adverse comments that followed. Bob will pass on like all heroes of Zimbabwe and there is no bula-bula-bula about. To those that think in their small way, when Mugabe is dead they have won, let me assure you - there are more worse Mugabes waiting for you. God was extremely gracious to spread Mugabe spirit in all the generations that came after Mugabe. Mugabe was used by Almighty as an ignition key for the total emancipation of Zimbabwe. Now that the car is moving NOONE CAN STOP IT.

dungas - 17 January 2014

dungas has a brainwashed little mind. he has a chicken mind. he's filled up with his demigod's delusion.

makumborenga - 17 January 2014

Lets keep our fingers crossed for the end is nigh. Get ready to pop the champaign bottles for if this limping donkey dies there will be cause to celebrate.

Kachembere kekwaChivi - 17 January 2014

so bad that mugabe dies everytime he goes on leave. this man is to live for many years to come. remember he still has a lot of questions to answer and i believe he will. when God wanted to deliver the children of israel from egypt, the last man standing to be judged was pharoah. so our president is here to stay.

zim - 17 January 2014

".....more worse mugabes coming....." Dungas you mean Mugabe's running dogs. Dogs will always be dogs and can never be like their master

muchapondwa - 17 January 2014

Dungas is dunyaz.....ulihlanya lomuntu. Mugabe is not loved, he is not even liked. He had to steal an election as he stole our livelihoods. This generation you're talking about doesn't love Mugabe as well. They love theft and freebies and suppresing the people while they feed off their heritage and heirship. For you to come here and say God spared Mugabe is sacrilege. God works in mysterious ways and we do not know His plan for either Mugabe or for Zimbabwe. Do not pre-empt Him or imagine you speak for Him or worse still, imagine you alone can interpet His will. Meanwhile, for us mere mortal men, we can atleast tell you how we feel. Mugabe is worse than dogs and pigs. He has no sense of feeling or he would have felt our suffering and left us. He feeds his dogs and pigs and they in turn suppress us in his name. What is wrong with wishing the end of such a cabal? If Mugabe dies things will change for us. If they do not atleast we can revel in the knowledge that Mugabe will be facing his maker.....and there is no way in hell he is going to the pearly place, he has his own corner reserved for him in hell.

OMuhle - 17 January 2014

eish zvakaoma

mudede - 17 January 2014

kana mdhara is dead palmers butcher ku bretcley will close down cause all mazezulu vatsha tiza ku dzoka kumusha he he he

denzo - 17 January 2014

baba tokushuwirai utano hwakanaka,ivai nezororo rakanaka risingaperi

gushongo - 17 January 2014

Isawhis motorcade today travelling towards Zvimba in the afternoon.He is on leave.

Moyo - 17 January 2014

Please leave the old man alone you brought all this misery by yourselves. By failing to be a nation and choosing to be a country you failed!

Regalia - 18 January 2014

Guys Uncle might still be alife but we all wish him to die. We will celebrate like never before our Kith and Kin are all over the globe because of a selfish old cunning goat. If any of his people is reading this tell him WE WISH HIM A SPEEDY DEATH taneta naye. Ngaachifa Zimbabwe will be a very better place without him.

John Mushona - 18 January 2014

Chawakadya chamuka, zvipoko zviya zvazo muka manje

Big Fish - 19 January 2014


petrus - 20 January 2014

Forget politics, try to find ways to earn more money for yourse and try this -

Mhuriro - 23 January 2014

Please kutonga ndekwaMwari,musashuvire mumwe kufa,ko dai uriwe urikunzarwo wainzwa sei

Tendayi - 23 January 2014

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