Mugabe's health is no laughing matter

HARARE - We have said this before and feel it is important to say it again: loose and unfounded social media gossip about President Robert Mugabe’s supposed death is in very bad taste and must be condemned in the strongest of terms by all right-thinking Zimbabweans.

Despite Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba confirming this week that the First Citizen was well and completing his annual leave at his Borrowdale home in Harare, the slew of unfortunate speculation around the 89-year-old’s health continues unabated — to the obvious pain of his family and detriment of the country.

It is true that like most mortals, our long-ruling leader is neither a saint nor a universally-liked man. Indeed, the mere mention of the name of the only man to have ruled Zimbabwe since the country gained independence from Britain in 1980 elicits mixed reaction.

On the one hand, his followers adore him to bits and swear by his liberation credentials and deemed principles.

On the other, his many detractors only identify him with pain and misrule — and cannot wait to see the back of him.

Still, this is no reason why anyone, anywhere should wish him, or any other person under the sun, dead.

To do so is not just unacceptable in all our various cultures as Zimbabwean people, it is uncouth and plain wrong — notwithstanding whatever alien culture of the offending purveyors of this barbaric gossip.

We say this without any fear of contradiction for a newspaper that is often very critical of Mugabe’s and his party’s dodgy record in government.

Neither is our standpoint on this matter driven by expediency to curry favour with him and his cohorts.

Nor is it out of fear that not doing so would elicit the kind of malicious action against us that we suffered as a media house more than a decade ago when we were unjustly shut down by his government.


We do so out of a deep conviction that all life is sacred, irrespective of whether it is Mugabe or some other lesser known mortal involved.

To that extent, we want to implore all Zimbabweans to desist from wishing Mugabe and any other person ill forthwith.

We might have very strong and legitimate political differences with each other, as we do, but that is absolutely no reason to want to see or wish each other dead.

For, it is exactly this barbaric spirit and line of thinking that has seen Zimbabwe slide into the debilitating political and economic morass that our country now finds itself in, 34 years after attaining majority rule — which is patently unacceptable.

Perhaps one way of mitigating the speculation around the president’s health is for the government to be as transparent as possible about his travels and health, obviously balancing this against his rights as well as the interests of his family.

After all, the fact is that the First Citizen will be 90 in a few weeks’ time.

And at this age, it is a given that the elderly develop a number of health challenges — meaning there is no good reason at all to try and run away from this reality.

The kind of responsible and useful information management about the president’s well-being that we are advocating here is not rocket science.

It has been done successfully in other countries, including recently in South Africa, in the case of the late and founding leader of that country, Nelson Mandela.

Surely, such course of action and diligent information management around when Mugabe travels, to where, and when he is being attended to by medical doctors, for what, can only work in the best interests of the president, his family, the government and the country in the long run — without jeopardising his security and privacy.

Food for thought.

Comments (46)

Daily News yashaya zvekunyora. Yaakutya kuvharwazve naJonathan.

Mashonaland Dickmarsh - 18 January 2014

So the thousands of innocent people that this moron has killed, distroyed livelihoods and haunted out of the motherland doesn't matter to you? Pliz God take this MGabage asap. To hell with you Mr Staff writer. You must be his hanger on...

Ini wacho - 18 January 2014

Only those of the dark would wish the President evil and death.People have no control over life. - 18 January 2014

Think why the President is soon celebrating his 90th birthday soon when most have since departed.If God does as people wish most people would have long gone. - 18 January 2014

No one wishes him death but many people they wish him to rest in peace cause he proved not to accept to rest on earth.

Shepy Tarzy - 18 January 2014

Hatinei nazvo izvo zvekuti mhuri yake inotii. Tatambura pamusana pemudhara uyu. Saka ngaazorore. Akatiudza nezvekurwara kwake ndimi majournalist, saka makuda kutyei futi. Kana achirwara arikurwara. Haasi Mwari ka uyu, munhuwo sesu. He is nt my president coz he stole an election. He shud just rest. TANETA NEMUDHARA UYU. ANYWAY U CAN NOT NIKUV DEATH!!!!!!!

Ball in the gate - 18 January 2014

Right thinking citizens must bear it mind that their problems will never end with the death of Mugabe. It's only the kind of thinking in people that can effect a change. Remember what happened to Libya's Gaddafi and what's the situation today? Yes he might be a liability in the country but we must think beyond his death and freeze our bleeding hearts for a moment yet allow God to attend to our pleas.

Regalia - 18 January 2014

Look, this is exactly why I visited media houses. I am happy that my objective is being accomplished at the ANZ Media House. This story is just the poof (yes poof).

Jonathan Moyo (Minister of Misinformation) - 18 January 2014

Thank you Daily News, this is why some of us like you so much. You are sober and rational, unlike your competitors. We do not want to wish death on anyone, whether its Mugabe or Tsvangirai.

Mercy - 18 January 2014

"After all, the fact is that the First Citizen will be 90 in a few weeks' time."

zvikiri - 18 January 2014

But he killed kkkkkkkkkkk

CDE TONGO - 18 January 2014

Rubbish. Your newspaper is now suffering from advanced state of bombphobia. I thought you had verified news of the whereabouts of the evil dictator yet you just crush rumour with another rumour. Where is he really? Get normal daily news.

Puddings - 18 January 2014

Sorry Zvikiri, only when you win an election that's totally free and fair do you become the first citizen. When you win it by hook or by crook using the military and police and any other cheating means you become the last citizen that's worthy of any title .,sorry but that's how it works in the real world

ronaldos - 18 January 2014

This is a very sophisticated way of reporting in an environment like Zimbabwe where if you directly say the truth especially about Mugabe, you will face reprisal. Instead, the Daily news seem to be on Mugabe's side, but when you examine critically this article, the paper is informing the nation that there are high chances that Mugabe is critically ill or is dead. By so doing The Daily is avoiding ZANU PF backlush but is informing the nation that there is something wrong with Mugabe. We Done Daily News and I personally suspect that this article was written by Jonathan Moyo himself.

Ziziharinanyanga - 18 January 2014

You playing games daily news . You were yearning to write about the presidents health but POSA won't allow you so you write like you supportive and against rumours shouldn't you be in forefront. To get an interview with the president and put the matter to rest if it was Tuku am sure you would.

Buda pachena - 18 January 2014

This is a balanced and well thought through opinion. Its most important parts are, of course, the last six paragraphs where you cleverly ask government to communicate openly about Mugabe's health. Well done.

Musorodamba - 18 January 2014

Whoever your staff writer who wrote this piece is, s/he is a master of clever writing. The writer is very cunningly telling us that all is not well with Uncle Bob!

Cde Chinx - 18 January 2014

.....singing: took the jewel of Southern Africa into his pocket , squeezed the life out of it, no one man has that right, but our Bob did it anyway, yes he did it anyway, those that cry are free to and those that laugh are also free to , our sorrows are never the same, 'cause he caused them singularly, and he shows no shame in that anyway, no shame in that anyway........

McAaron - 18 January 2014

Is your paper suffering from the Stockholm syndrome.

Morrison Makuvatsine - 18 January 2014

It is the right of every citizen to know the health and warlfare of our president. Shame and doomed are those who wishes him dead. once a teacher one will always be a teacher. he is our father and we adore him and learnt a lot from him. daily news you are doing a great job in bring the matter to everyone's attention

fear itself - 18 January 2014

We wish him a speedy death

John Mushona - 18 January 2014


bmash - 18 January 2014

“No one needed a Robert Mugabe in 1980, and no one needs a Robert Mugabe in 2014, or after.” Robert Mugabe's demise must certainly be welcome, and celebrated by those who will choose to.” “Certainly, it is the right thing that before he departs, Mugabe knows that the people know him for who and what he is: a short, dark angry man who abused entrusted public power and brought untold misery to millions of innocent people merely and solely because he was president. And a short, dark angry man who has cloned equally evil and bad people who continue to man the State machinery of present-day Zimbabwe, people who even today, insult, mock, scandalize, and seek to harm others merely and solely because they control the institution of the State. These clones, together with their leader, Robert Mugabe, must be demystified now just before Mugabe dies, otherwise if we don't they are the new breed of Robert Mugabes that no one needs and no one has ever needed, about to terrorise us all over again.”

tobias - 19 January 2014

I personally don't wish him dead or any other person dead but him and his family MUST know this; "MUGABE HAS CAUSED A LOT OF SUFFERING AND MILLIONS OF DISPLACEMENT". To prove this check which country doesn't have a single Zimbo in the world unless if that country is at war or its president is at war with its citizens like Mugabe. We don't wish him dead but we don't like him; GET THAT.

exiled - 19 January 2014

I have been supporting you dailynews and even thought we are together in this war of trying to decampaign Mugabe and his henchmen,but this time you got it wrong.I guess this was a mistake.

josefa chinotimba - 19 January 2014

We should be careful what we accuse other people about. God knows if Mugabe ever killed anyone or not. Who in this world will submit evidence that Bod ever killed enyone. Let us fear God, and let us be wary of lying about thins we do not know. Let us avoid amplifying something we heard from bars lest we be judged for lying, on the Judgement Day day.

machakachaka - 19 January 2014

I find this article chocking, or is it shocking to say the what do u have to say about the fake pictures of Mugabe arriving? this simply shows you are out of touch with the magnitude of pain Zimbabweans are experiencing both at home and abroad because of Mugabes policies. We have said it and shall say it again, now and here that this man, has overstayed his welcome and the sooner he goes the better...He forced us into an election which he already new the outcome for the sake of power. he spent millions of our hard earned money in oiling his rigging machinery for the sake of his power, he refused to step down after being defeated by Morgan on more than twice. He has planted CIO's everywhere in the country to spy on us, he has arrested citizens on trumped up charges for his own power. So shat else shall we wish such a person?????

Adrianne - 19 January 2014

Well done Daily News with this sober piece. Don't worry about the misplaced criticism. There are none so blind as those who won't see the sense of your opinion. At any rate, if the world was to effect an eye-for-an-eye principle rigidly, planet earth would be full of 100% blind people,

Chematama wekwaMereki - 19 January 2014

Yoweee imperialists, clonialists, reactionaries, zvimbasungata,etc happy! You think blindly that Mugabe is hated all over! Crazy! Just look at how many madzimbabwe wear Gushungo cap! Open you eyes its not too late.

dungas - 19 January 2014

i can wsh my dear president a speedy recovery

SELE SELE - 19 January 2014

read Romans 13:1-7 everyone

JOSEPH - 19 January 2014

How come the Zanu PF apparatchik Cde Nyundo has not commented on this story? Has he got nothing to say?

Cde Chinx - 20 January 2014

This has nothing to do with tribe! People, do not let idiots like this cocaine snorting bitch divert your eyes from the ball and the ball is almost in the goal post. We must celebrate the death of a dictator, the death of he who has made it his mission to see that the Zimbabwean population at large suffers each and everyday. People have not been allowed to properly bury victims murdered by Mugabe's 5th brigade so why should fell sorry if he is sick or dies. Mugarbage is close to meeting his creator and I have reserved a bottle of Chivas for the day.

Bingo Wajakata - 20 January 2014

whether Robert stops dead now or tomorrow what he has done for this country will live long after he is gone. The life of any political figure brings with it moments of joy and pain and sometimes there is a fine balance between the two. But I imagine one day when our leader to be after him will stammer and fail to hammer home a point against the British and the American at the UN general Assembly or somewhere else where Zimbabwe would be an agenda. On that day and occasion we will miss him. We will say to our grandchildren Kwaivapo mukomana ainzi Robert akaudza British Prime Minster Blair "Have your England and let me have my Zimbabwe" Akazoudza George W Bush Jr that "your hands drip with innocent blood of the Iraqi people and Afghanistans..." Ava vaviri Nzou naMvuu vakanyara kwazvo kuti hunhubu hwavo hwaonekwa. Ndipo pakaperera sarungano. Murume uyu akarwa Hondo yakanaka ndiyo mhaka Mwari amuchengeta kudai. Asi muhondo kunevanofa nefriendly fire. Vamwe vatengesi muhondo yechimurenga takauraya tega. Sorry bva zvinganzwiiwo hazvo? Ruregerero pamwe ndashaisho kubhuya. Inga ndichida kuchaya nyaya yacho ngepadera. Ndopedzisa ndichiti chero uyu mukuru akapfuura inongova nguva. Asi newewo urimuQ. Saka rufu in'anga inobata vose. Saka rufu rwakafanana neurema harusekanwe mwachewe.

Kumbirai Kamukarati - 20 January 2014

Bob's supporters u are full of shit,achembera achembera,kugula hakuna rigging God will not punish Zimbos for wishing achimwene a speedy departure we have suffered enough ....

munhu - 20 January 2014

Well done Daily News, you have managed to full the masses into thinking that you are sympathizing with the old man. You are so creative, and im impressed.

Macharangwanda - 20 January 2014

You scribe have absolutely NO clue on where to make and set a moral point nor would it seem you have the sand to make such! Your disgusting and frankly feeble attempt to give this monster the same dignity that befalls those of this nation and world who really do make it their life's work to serve their fellow man and to try their level best to keep to their word and morals on the right path of honour is an insult to any man or woman who spend their days attempting to set right the destruction, ineptitude and total disregard for any but his own twisted and egomaniacal, cowardly self!! Go to hell as the thing from the sewers himself says!

Sabi - 20 January 2014

Another point on your stupid article.... It really is no laughing matter!! The sooner the bastard crosses over to where he is really wanted by many on the other side the better!!

Sabi - 20 January 2014

SHAME hw dare u wish others dead as if u r your own creater and u hev never sinned NWAY only GOD knows who should die today may you are going first Pray that you reach 90 like HE

Chadzo - 20 January 2014

while i dont wish him death, but the open truth is he has caused suffering and death to so many zimbabweans,he overstayed his presidents.

TERRA-COTTA - 20 January 2014

"We have degrees in violence" Mugabe is famous for many sayings - including the above where he was openly acknowledging that Zanu PF not only used violence as a weapon but actually boasted that they were violent people. He also once said he admired Hitler for his ruthless establishment of a dictatorship in Europe that nearly dominated half the world. What can we say about this?

Pythias Makonese - 21 January 2014

all those who hate Mugabe should read the story of Moses and the Israelites on their journey from Egypt. or listen to the song of Mhere. Zvanzi tichibva Egipita rwendo takafamba zvakanaka asi vakazvarirwa munzira ndovakazotinetse, heeee tafanenzara, heeee mvura, dai wakatirega tichitambura. shame shame shame on you Mugabe haters.

mhondoro mudzimu mukuru - 21 January 2014

I do not want to beat by the bush or pretend I wish Mugabe could die now .He is no longer useful to this country infact he has never been use at all he has brought serious suffering to all zimbabweans bcoz of that I wish god can fast track his death although he will die but my wishes and those of millions zimbos this year would be ok for us keeping my fingers crossed

Diibulaanyika - 21 January 2014

can the daily news please stop advertising in the paragraph, at least at the end kwete kuisa advert pamusoro pemanzwi atiri kuverenga do sumthng plz plz

ari ben menashe - 23 January 2014

Is it 2003, 2002 or 2004? when there was another Mugabe death hype that, according to reports, had many an unsuspecting citizen of the republic a good, good beating indeed from angry unemployed youths masked in army gear. To anyone of us, my question is: What a saint, devil, or just say what type of person could you be to be wished dead for so long, by such a proportion of the population? Does such types of question ever bother him himself, Grace his wife, or any of his innocent disciples? What exactly do unconfirmed rumours say he does to those he pleases deceased? Did not someone got missed one day ( kumugwangwaiza) but his left rib.

jairosi - 23 January 2014

For a human being to live as long 90years is a blessing from God . Long live Gushu , you are still our candidate for the next election. Gushu-gushu. Open the way.

mkhwebu Victor - 21 February 2014

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