Drama as Mugabe visits clinic

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace was captured on camera trying unsuccessfully to stop a cameraman from filming her 90-year-old husband as the First Family arrived at the Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore.

Footage released by British public broadcaster Channel 4 on Tuesday shows Mugabe and his wife entering Gleneagles Hospital along with a single male bodyguard, and two unidentified women.

The video shows Mugabe strolling unaided into the hospital looking curiously at the camera while his wife Grace, acts as a bodyguard with the aid of the male bodyguard.

She then moves to stop the filming of the world’s second oldest president.

“Why are you taking photo? You can’t take photo. No, no, no you shouldn’t take photo.  Please don’t take photo, ah nhai imi,” Grace protests at the cameraperson while appearing to confront him. Then another female voice is heard in Shona saying, aiwa, aiwaka. (no, no).

The cameraperson or journalist accompanying him retorts: “It’s a public place.” While Grace was engaged in the confrontation with the journalists, a bewildered Mugabe, with his hands behind his back remained stone quiet.

He is also seen in the video appearing to take a few steps backwards while Grace was busy chasing away the journalists.

The video has put into question, Mugabe’s security when he travels outside the country as there was only one bodyguard who appeared in the video that Grace had to move in to shield the journalists as if she was a bodyguard.

Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe for the past 34 years, had a cataract operation in Singapore on the eve of his 90th birthday in February, officials said, and his visits to the south-eastern Asian State have become more frequent over the last couple of years, stoking speculation over his health.

His spokesperson George Charamba, said last week that the veteran leader had flown to Singapore for “another routine eye check-up” and said he was expected to be back in Zimbabwe in a week. Charamba described the visit as a “private visit.”

The Gleneagles Hospital was named one of the world’s top 10 hospitals for medical tourists in 2013.

A search on the Internet reveals that the hospital offers cardiac surgery, bladeless femtosecond laser cataract surgery and has in its precincts, a world famous cancer treatment clinic.

Mugabe’s health remains a mystery and earlier this month Didymus Mutasa, a close confidant of the guerrilla war leader, indicated that the ruling party could criminalise discussion of both the 90-year-old strongman’s health and the presidential succession while threatening the Daily News against writing the stories.

Notwithstanding his old age, Mugabe has refused to name a successor, leaving hawks in Zanu PF to tear each other in order to gain advantage over rivals.

The standoff with journalists at the Gleneagles is not the first time Mugabe’s wife has had run-ins with journalists.

In 2009, she beat up a cameraman in Hong Kong.

British photographer, Richard Jones, claimed that Grace, 48, ordered a bodyguard to hold him down and then attacked him in Hong Kong’s Kowloon peninsula.

“She directed several punches into my face,” Jones said. “She was wearing diamond-encrusted rings, which caused a lot of lacerations.”

But this time the First Lady was civil amid reports that violence is strictly prohibited in Singapore.

Last year, in an interview, Grace admitted beating the cameraman.

“I ran after him and I caught him. I started beating him. He was pleading with me to get the camera, please, I didn’t answer so I kept on punching him. I did not listen to him and continued beating him up.”

Comments (44)

come home uncle u neede a rest. when ar u going to enjoy yo mudya ndigere. chisiirai vamwe basa

tuo - 22 May 2014

Sekuru garai kumba

Gwenaz - 22 May 2014

Guys, Mugabe is fit. Nyatsotarisai video iri zvakanaka. Grace looks verry thin. She's the reason why they went to Indonesia. Everything is not well...

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ORIGINAL - 22 May 2014

So whats the news? When you visit your doctor have ever invited journalists?

godfrey gudo - 22 May 2014

Mukadzi wamambo muranda kumwe and rightly so. "You can't take photo" works only within Zimbabwe's borders mbuya imi.

Razaro - 22 May 2014

All government hospitals are in a poor state. instead of wasting tax payers money boarding a plane and booking presidential suites to stay for a week, Mugabe and Grace must buy equipment for use in our hospitals. we train a lot of doctors and nurses are they not good enough to treat him? Musadaro isu tirivarombo pamusaka penyu. tife here tikagwara?

patriot - 22 May 2014

I am pretty sure that on clear days Mugabe's favourite pilots can now visually navigate their way to and from Singapore without engaging autopilot or using navigation instruments.

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do we have qualified doctors?

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Holiday Packages+Air tickets - 22 May 2014

Surely the president should get some protection even if he is there. Where was that body guard who gave Peter Thatchel a hiding.

tito - 22 May 2014

there is no story apa. whats the news when someone visits a hospital. what do you expect of a 90 year old somebody when a baby born today, hours old, can be admitted. tsvee kutenda Mwari kuti president vachengetwa up to 90 years. most of you will not reach that 90 mark and you will die leaving him. we wish you many more years gushungo.

wind - 22 May 2014

vanaMandela vakafira munyika dzavo, nanaBingu, nanaMwanawasa...iwe uchafira kunyika dzavamwe nekuzvida! Toimba zvedukufa hakuna member...Uchafi seshiri uri mumhepo! kkk Wakaura health system yedu zve...hauchadi kana kugura muhospital yepazimbabwe asi sis vako wakavaita cabbage vari muParirenyatwa!

Tongogara - 22 May 2014

ifa ifa f a fa fa fa fa taneta newe fa fa amen

Siamababa - 22 May 2014


karanda mission hospital - 22 May 2014

wish u speedy recovery mr president.majournalist hamuazive here vanhu

hungrylion - 22 May 2014

ndiyoyo mudhara bob get your best attention zvezvipatara zvekuno hazviite zvakafa mungafawo chitogwinyai kushandisa dokora auraye futi education ngekuti venyu nana vanodzidza ikweyo

boss - 23 May 2014

I wish you a speedy recovery, our President, our leader.

the mole - 23 May 2014

wish you well Mr President. Mumwe anoseka kurwara kweumwe sekunge asingazorwariwo kana kufa.

taka - 23 May 2014

You are the ones always demanding details of his health. Now you see why this information should not be published? It is an open invitation to the papparazi!

Che Guevara - 23 May 2014

So where is the drama here. He is visiting a clinic and it was never meant to be secret that he was visiting the clinic in Singapore, so why all the hype? You ridiculously jump on the bandwagon of Western propaganda that tries to make people believe that they are democracy advocates yet they are exporters of global terror. Shame on you.

Chando - 23 May 2014

Me thinks Jonathan Moyo was right to have Daily News closed last tym around.....News ndedzipi apa??? Kuti aenda kwa doctor? Saka imi munoenda kumaporofita?? Kuti aramba kutorwa picture?? Ko iwe reporter pawakaita sick waida kutorwa picture uri pa clinic???? Ngachibhombwe chipepa chenhema ichi.

wezhira wezhara - 23 May 2014

pamberi amai nekuchengetedza mhuri yenyu.dai makatorikwatura ziphotoghrapher iroro

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WERTHJITFCF - 23 May 2014

Sorry Mugabe remains a hero world over. You can bark, scream and wet yourselves the fact will neither change nor go. You will go into your graves being very bitter and sower!

dungas - 23 May 2014

Did you want to queue with your president at "Eyes for Africa" or at a council clinic.

Mhofu - 23 May 2014

Wezhira is truely hungry like his surname Wezhara says. The news is that the president of a country seeks medical attention outside his country where his health facilities are so dilapidated that going there is a sure death sentence. Him being a hero in Africa is neither here nor there as the health facilities are crumbling around him, in as much as we do not want our president to queue at a council clinic we also do not expect him to shun our local facilities. Mandela died in a local clinic, all sub-Saharan leaders with only his exception are treated in their countries but they do not queue as some want us to belive here. Heroism starts at home, look at the Chinese, Cubans and Russians who drive in locally assembled vehicles, go to local clinics and so forth that is what makes news when someone wants the povo to die home yet he goes abroad. To tell you the truth if you are admitted in any of our hospitals it is a sure death sentence on you and he knows it that is why he does not go there. The ICU at Parirenyatwa (the only one that was functional) closed last week as the ventilator broke down and this was the time HE was commandeering the only plane to Singapore for treatment.

Chen Chikezha - 24 May 2014

A public figure makes news even if he is walking in the strolling the streets. What if he's seen visiting a foreign hospital? Elements of the news!! But it is more than that. Wezhira is just another beggar who thinks boot licking will also make him a hero. Heroism is more than globe trotting. What is the state of our economy right now? Hero?!

Regalia - 24 May 2014

zvinebasa rei mashaiwa nyaya here, it's natural that aperson visits a hospital including our President

vigilante - 26 May 2014

Mboko dzatambura nokurwara kwamambo wadzo. They forget he is human & too old to continue holding on to power--a clear indication that ZANU-PF is full of empty heads or typical cowards.

JAKUCHICHI - 27 May 2014

Some people simply cannot understand that reporters inform the public anything that happens to a president as head of state.They also report anything about a strong opposition leader as he commands a great following & may one become president. Hakusi kushaya nyaya.

regazvipore - 27 May 2014

very true our health system is in shambles, but to put the blame on one man its unrealistic lets face it we are to blame we brought this on ourselves, corruption is the scourge which started as chiface hama dzangu until it became culture hence we were incapacitating ourselves. regai mutana arapwe. tirimbavha tese pasi pezuva

cobz - 27 May 2014

hmmmmmmmmm RESPECT


Ichokwadi GHIRESI anorova nembama kana mukada kumujairira. Journalists should mind their own business. Drama&more dramas are on the way to Singapore as the president is sure to revisit that country for many more times to come.

ICHO CHARIRA - 28 May 2014

Vese vanrikutuka our God given President you are idiots. Go and get deliverance from your stupidity all you fools. Kuenda kuhospital kunoshamisira chii naiyewo journalist stupid story trying to make a story out of nothing. NOnsense!!!! Long Live Gushungo!!!!

Zanu for life - 28 May 2014

Yes ZANU-PF for life just like SATAN is for life. Kune vanoti va katsikwa gumbo, 'SORI NDAISA GUMBO RANGU PASI PERENYU.' Typical ZPF idiots. God speaks through the pple & going against the pple's word is fighting against God. God anointed David to be king of Israel while King Saul was still alive. Saul fought tooth&nail to kill David out of jealous but he failed. Zimbabwe is in a very similar situation today. No, RGM is never for life.


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