Zimbabwe sources confirm that Mugabe is 'very critical' & security services are on highest alert—
(@ianbirrell) April 09, 2012
That Tweet is from Ian Birrell, contributing editor of The Daily Mail.
There’s lots of buzz on Twitter about a rumor that Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, is very ill and is fighting for his life in a Singapore hospital. Mugabe, age 88, has ruled Zimbabwe for 32 years. A June 2008 diplomatic cable leaked by Wikileaks last fall alleged that the dictator is suffering from terminal prostate cancer. The WikiLeaks document stated, “President Robert Mugabe has prostate cancer that has metastasised and, according to doctors, will cause his death in three to five years.”
According to the Independent, Mugabe missed a Cabinet meeting last week and canceled another meeting that was supposed to occur on Tuesday of this week:
Rumours that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is gravely ill are intensifying after he missed last week’s cabinet meeting and the one due today was cancelled.
President Mugabe, 88, is officially in Singapore dealing with arrangements around his daughter Bona’s postgraduate studies.
But opposition media, including The Zimbabwe Mail and The Standard, have questioned whether the president would realistically handle his daughter’s university enrolment in person.
He is reported to have left Zimbabwe on 30 March. Last Tuesday’s cabinet meeting was cancelled, as was a special Politburo gathering last week.
Twitter speculation and reaction:
The New Zimbabwe newspaper, however, denied the claims of President Mugabe's ill health, saying he would be back in the country on Wednesday—
kabelo (@kpseabi) April 09, 2012
Interesting to read reports on Mugabe tonight. I recall his imminent death for health reasons being predicted circa 2002-3.—
Ben Dunnell (@BenDunnell) April 09, 2012
Zimbabwe officials insist Mugabe is well. Says he's on holiday. Dismiss rumours he's ill. Reuters.—
Tim Marshall (@Skytwitius) April 10, 2012
The situation in Zimbabwe is now clear. President Mugabe is either on his deathbed, or he's fit as a fiddle.—
Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) April 10, 2012
Many Twitter users are not in an sympathetic mood:
Goodbye Mugabe I will not shed a tear. They have long been spent on the many you have murdered.—
Joe Hockey (@JoeHockey) April 09, 2012
Yay Mugabe is ill.. Karma is turning her wheel!!!—
Carol (@buttons117) April 10, 2012
If Mugabe dies in the morning, that's the closest thing to 'mourning' he'll get.—
Amith Gosai (@AMG133) April 09, 2012
Socialism will lose a great friend if Mugabe dies tonight. Imagine my horror.—
Old Holborn (@Old_Holborn) April 09, 2012
And what will happen if Mugabe does die?
I never thought I'd say this, but Mugabe's successor is possibly worse than him!—
Ust Oldfield (@UOldfield) April 09, 2012