In Zimbabwe where citizens had been made to understand the president was on holiday with his family, the news naturally generated interest in many quarters.
While the truth about the reports may remain unknown to the curious Zimbabwean masses, what emerges from all this drama is that Mugabe has to come clean about the state of his health.
For far too long people have been speculating about the state of his physical and mental wellbeing but the official line has always been that Mugabe is as fit as a fiddle.
While Mugabe and his supporters may deny it, the president is in the twilight of his life and therefore prone to health problems which cannot be wished away.
The older a man becomes, the more prone he becomes to suffering from ageing-related illnesses such as prostate cancer. And this is why some people are tempted to think it’s not far-fetched to believe that Mugabe may be suffering from a prostate ailment.
There are a host of other diseases that target elderly men, and it’s possible Mugabe could be afflicted by any of them.
Mugabe’s protégés need to be reminded that openness about the president’s health is the best policy for our country, especially when he is gearing for another five-year term as president. Silence only fuels the rumour mill.
In proper democracies, leaders are bound to disclose illness before they assume office.
When progressive leaders fall ill in office, there is no need for secrecy about their condition. It’s only those leaders who want to hang on to their power who fear disclosing their condition could embolden their opponents. Mugabe is obviously one of these.
While these comments may infuriate his supporters pushing for his life presidency, they need to remind us that Mugabe is not superhuman. He is a mere mortal like the rest of us. The factious Zanu PF party, only held together by the person of Mugabe, is living in a fool’s paradise.