Mugabe visits S’pore hospital after getting kicked out of power in Zimbabwe

Mugabe visits S’pore hospital after getting kicked out of power in Zimbabwe

Mothership.SG·2017-12-18 06:05

Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe is in Singapore for medical checks.

This marks his first foreign travel since the army forced him from office in November 2017.

The 93-year-old resigned after the army and his ruling ZANU-PF party turned against him.

He had ruled the southern African nation for 37 years.

His 52-year-old wife, Grace, was being groomed as his successor, which was an unpopular move that led to his ousting.

He left Harare with Grace and aides on Dec. 11, 2017. He is expected to make travel to Malaysia, where his daughter, Bona, 29, is expecting a second child.

Routine visit

A Mugabe official said his visit to Singapore is routine: “He was due for a check-up but events of the last few weeks made it impossible for him to travel.”

Mugabe had been due to travel to Singapore on Nov. 16, but was unable to leave because the military had confined him to his private home the previous day.

Mugabe is Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore. He was previously caught on camera arriving with his entourage.

The trip means Mugabe will not be in Zimbabwe when ZANU-PF endorses President Emmerson Mnangagwa as its leader and presidential candidate for next year’s elections.

Mugabe reportedly travelled out of the country on a state-owned Air Zimbabwe plane.

News of Mugabe’s overseas travels will add to the frustration of Zimbabweans.

This is after Mugabe was granted immunity from prosecution and assured of his safety under his resignation deal.

He has been accused of looting state coffers and destroying the economy during his time in power.

Under Zimbabwe’s Presidential Pension and Retirement Benefits Act, a former head of state is entitled to perks including limited foreign travel and medical insurance.

Singapore a favourite destination

Even though Singapore is 8,000km away from Zimbabwe, it is a familiar place to the Mugabe family.

Mugabe’s only daughter Bona, did her master’s degree in management in Singapore in 2012 at the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS)-University of Wales and, in 2013, graduated with a Master of Science in Management (Banking and Finance).

Meanwhile, his wife Grace, 52, has been known to spend thousands of dollars on shopping sprees during her travels here.

The former presidential couple was seen in a first-class lounge at Changi Airport before, reportedly surrounded by 15 trolleys of “electronic goods and exotic foods”.

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