Mugabe death rumour ends

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe appeared in public for the first time in several weeks yesterday to mourn the death of his sister, ending speculation that he may be bed-ridden, in declining health or even dead.

Mugabe’s health, who at 89  has ruled the country since independence from Britain in 1980, has spawned endless speculation among Zimbabweans.

Zanu PF is struggling to keep a lid on a battle over succession and there are fears it could implode in a bloody factional fight that might even suck in the army if Mugabe dies without resolving the issue.

Mugabe, who spent two weeks of his annual leave in Singapore, appeared at State House to accept condolences for his 79-year-old sister Bridgette, who died in Harare after three years in a coma.

Mugabe appeared downcast over his bereavement but showed no visible signs of ill health as he greeted senior party officials and spoke about his sister’s life.

Rumours sparked by his recent absence from the spotlight have been swirling around Harare in the last two weeks, some suggesting that the veteran leader was seriously ill and others even suggesting he had died.

As with previous rounds of speculation, his lieutenants dismissed the rumours as baseless.

Mugabe has denied that previous trips to Singapore were for prostate cancer treatment.

Joice Mujuru, Mugabe’s vice-president both in government and in Zanu PF, is frontrunner in the race to succeed the president. But her main rival, Justice minister and former Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, has not given up, analysts say.

Mugabe himself maintains there is no crisis, arguing that the party is strong and organised enough to choose his successor at the right time. His critics say he wants to die in office.

In an editorial on Saturday, the Daily News called for more transparency about his health.

“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 his health, obviously balancing this against his rights as well as the interests of his family,” the newspaper said.

Senior government officials said Equatorial Guinea President Mbasogo Theodore Nguema had cancelled a planned visit to Harare on Monday following Bridgette’s death. Mugabe had been expected to cut short his holiday to host Nguema.

Meanwhile, Mugabe’s sister Bridgette  Zvenhamo, who died at Parirenyatwa Hospital on Sunday, will be buried at her Zvimba rural home today.

Bridgette, who was the president’s only surviving sibling, suffered from breathing complications.

She was on life support for the past three years until the time of her death.

She collapsed during the funeral of her sister Sabina at the Heroes Acre in August 2010.

In a telephone interview with the Daily News yesterday, Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said the party’s supreme governing body, the politburo had not met to deliberate on her a national heroine status, and she would be laid to rest at their rural home.

“She will be buried tomorrow afternoon in Zvimba,” Gumbo said.

The late Bridgette, who was a trained science teacher, was actively involved in the liberation struggle.

She is said to have even assisted the seven heroes who fought in the first Chimurenga battle in 1966.

The mother and grandmother, who died at the age of 78, was reportedly tortured by Rhodesians for at least a month. 

Comments (38)

dailynews you are behind the time its like you are now part of the cover up, why Mugabe didn't attend the memorial service yesterday. I watched the video from state house he was looking tired,exhausted looking very ill. the news from statehouse say everthing was stage managed, he was brought on wheelchair before anyone arrived

trudy - 21 January 2014

dear trudy i hope you are not insane as your comment how could you be so blind not to see that your comment is baseless and at the same time so unrepresented anywhere unomakisa ndinovimba rimwe zuva uchasvinura

observer - 21 January 2014

when will you people stop the nonsenses about Mugabe death,what does his health have anything to do with anybody? stop wishing him death bcoz he is not going to die anytime soon,just stop it pliz.

Chaitichouya Chikopokopo - 21 January 2014

Kunyangwe akarwara President wacho zvine basa rei? Pane asinga rwari. At his age you all expect him to be fit like a 16 year old. Kana nemiwo.

Susan - 21 January 2014

This is quite emblatic of the kind of society we have become. We have become this sickly belly crawling vermin that rejoices in the distress of others and considering that some of our children read these posts are we not even ashamed? Is our dislike for the person of the president blinded us to the essentials of our human values that say we grieve with those who grieve and are kind and sympathetic to the ill? What is happening to us that we can not agree rationally mindful of the fact that no matter how much we dislike each other we are still members of the same Zimbabwe family.. What do we hope to gain by this? Frankly this is pathetic and disappointing and I hope this is not the society we hope our children will grow to become responsible world citizens..Shame.

gutter poet - 21 January 2014

The president deserves another ten years or more.

Lizard - 21 January 2014

@Lizard. The fellow is 90 and 10 more years are highly unlikely. He'd thank his stars for 10 more months!

Beaver Tongos - 21 January 2014

live long Gushungo. please my fellow citizens no matter we hate a person but one thing we should not like (as long as we God's sons and daughters) is to wish a person to die. Everybody deserves a long life no matter be your friend or enemy. Viva our hero

turezimbo - 21 January 2014

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Gore - 21 January 2014

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Gore - 21 January 2014

The dailynews is just a shit paper its you wishing the president to die why not you. In your story you say B. Mugabe died at 79 and you then say at last paragraph died at 78 check your story.

deeds - 21 January 2014

The man is sick and very tired, i doubt he can summon enough energy even for sex, ndokunge ichirikumira anyway!! Ndipei zvangu mkadzi uyo ndizvambure makumbo!!!

jojo - 21 January 2014

Vakomana asi chii nhai? Regai mwari aiite matongero ake kanhi? Instead of making noise lets concentrate on our stomach and vana kuti vaende kuchikoro...Ko iye Cde Bon ndiye ane mari yese yeZimbabwe here nhai macdes.....Lets work for our families and let them chop our sweat not this nonsense of halabo from the politicians vasina basa nemhuri yangu nhai?????

Clemence Tashaya - 21 January 2014

I fully agree with sister Trudy the pictures we saw on zbc sunday evening were not convincing the man is not well i never saw any signs motion he was glue on the chair. As to why people want Mugabe dead surely people are not fools there is a reason . He has singlehandly destroyed their country .You can not remove him through ballot hence people have wished that god must take him like yesterday. The good thing is they do not want to use their hands to remove him but god's.Zimbabweans are not heartless people they have a clear reason serving for those who benefit from Mugabe's mess

Dibulaanyika - 21 January 2014

@Turezimbo, if we are God's sons and daughters as you say, what would be wrong with us wishing our elders to go and rest with the Lord our God? Surely, if you are God's son or daughter, you would cherish to be with him! So why do you fear meeting God, on Mugabe;s behalf?

Grace MARUFU - 21 January 2014

Ndinoti daily news murikugona basa chose avo vanogwadziwa kuti munozuwirei nezvaGushungo ngavaudze kuti ngaazorore ape vamwe vushe hatifi takazuwa nezvake zvee . Tinoda kuti vasvikewo kuMberengwa vaone kutambura kwatirikuita kwete zvekuvanda vanhu vachifa nezhara . Keep it the pples number 1 paper for givings more info abaout Gushungo , Anogwadziwa nazvo they can read Herald reZANU PF . Takahi tichavakigwa mugwagwa nezvipatara pamaerekisheni so ngavachizadzisa chitende chavo kuno kudunhu ravarombo .

MukarangawekuMberengwa - 21 January 2014

Who knows if the vedio said to be Bridget's memorial is not the one taken during Sabina's death?

Ziziharinanyanga - 21 January 2014

Every January when President Mugabe goes on holiday, there is this rumour that he is either dead or very sick. Why do journalists have the habit of repeating this sickening nonsese every year. Dont wish anyone dead. Cant you see that some young journalists who have been writing rubbish are dead themselves at a very young age? And Bob lives on. His time will come, like all of us, but we are not God. Those who will be around when he dies will have a chance to report when it beomes fact. Nyarai.

machakachaka - 21 January 2014

The man is not feeling well . Yes we know he will die but every right thinking zimbabeans who has this country at heart would wish if god can fast track this granny's death before we completely slide back to 2008 sitaution where we could sleep many days without eating anything .

Diibulaanyika - 21 January 2014

This is quite tiring who has the finally answer?

Regalia - 21 January 2014

This is quite tiring who has the finally answer?

Regalia - 21 January 2014

I sympathise with RGM but when you see people wishing you dead ask yourself many questions because it seems people are very much anticipating his departure maybe because they have failed to move him off that seat fairly. Even those vying for his position are wishing the same. It is bad in our culture to wish someone dead but hey ask yourself why they wish me dead. He is sick like an old man he is he has to be sick. The Mugabe we used to see those days with degrees in violence cannot stay that young forever. he is human after all.

Maita Manyuka - 21 January 2014

We shall all die one day Good or Evil!

paradzai manjonjo - 21 January 2014

Bridget was not Mugabe 's last remaining sibling why cant you be factual

enock sebele - 21 January 2014

whoever owns Daily News should fire the editor. We do not buy this paper fornupdates on Mugabe's health please.

Tari - 21 January 2014

Its you Daily News people who where trying to peddle these so called lies of RGM because as an MDC mouthpiece you are so deluded in your wishes of RGM's so called death.You take pub talk and make them BIG BIG HEADLINES to try and woe your dwindling readership.SHAME ON YOU

NyakoNyako - 22 January 2014

Whoever owns Daily News, please make @Tori the editor. He appears to know editing better than the current editor. The appear would be exciting, very readable and full of 'wonderful' news about Gushungo and Shake-Shake house! Readers can't wait! Kkkkkkkkk!

Cde Chinx - 22 January 2014

Have anyone noticed that the fanatic Zanoids who moan about the Daily News's fearless reporting and alleged bias against their Nikuv Party, like @NyakoNyako can't seem to get enough of the paper. Day and night they are on this website trawling articles and commenting - and then shamelessly claiming that the paper is not popular. How amazing!

Musorodamba - 22 January 2014

Whatever this old man has ruined our country.that's why people wish him bad.

red - 22 January 2014

Whatever this old man has ruined our country.that's why people wish him bad.

red - 22 January 2014

It will die soon! Mugarbage is one foot in the grave and the sooner the crawling bootlickers realize it the less will be the impact of his death!

Bingo Wajakata - 22 January 2014

Mugabe does not even know how to die.

mambo - 22 January 2014

Bad comments about Cde Mugabe come from those disgruntled. Of this group in the for front there are the settler colonialist, next are the sell-outs who still feel uncomfortable despite the o leave leaf and finally those sucking health from those with monies and do not like black majority rule because it hinders them. However it is futile. You cannot bring back the clock of emancipation of black man.

dungas - 22 January 2014

bingo wajakata how can you wish someones death?everyones destiny is in GOD'S hands.are you holy?kana Mwari achikuona do u deserve to live?remember proverbs 24 :17,18

evidence - 22 January 2014

stupid munhu anyora izvi 79 or 78 which is correct.long live our President.God knows kwete iwe .

five - 22 January 2014

ALL THOSE WISHING DEATH ON THIS OLD MAN ,ARE THE ONES TO DIE FIRST FROM DEASES LIKE HIV AIDS,THAT MAN WILL NEVER DIE ANYTIME SOON .

wax murehwa - 25 January 2014

the president,his excellency,cde robert mugabe has all the time in the world to repent.

tisu anhu acho - 28 January 2014

OUR PRESDENT RG MUGABE IS THE ONLY MAN WHO CAN STAND ON HIS OWN . YU ARE A HERO MAY GOD GIVE U STRENGTH AND RULE SOME YEARS WE LOVE U DADY. NOONE CAN STAND LIKE WHT U DID YOU ARE A MAN.

alfred - 28 January 2014

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