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Robert Mugabe 'fighting for his life' in Singapore hospital

world Updated: Apr 10, 2012 16:27 IST
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President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist since its independence from Britain in 1980, is battling for his life with an undisclosed illness at a hospital in Singapore, media reports said.

The 88-year-old dictator is undergoing intensive treatment in Asia, an unnamed senior official of his ZANU-PF party was quoted as saying by 'The Zimbabwe Mail' newspaper.

Mugabe, who underwent several bouts of therapy in Asia in recent years, was flown to Singapore by a private jet on Saturday for treatment; his wife Grace and family members are at the dictator's bedside, according to the reports.

A cable from June 2008 leaked by WikiLeaks last month suggests the tyrant is battling terminal prostate cancer but there has been no official confirmation.

An official spokesman did, however, confirm that a cabinet meeting scheduled for Tuesday had been postponed.

"The chief secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda, wishes to inform all members of cabinet that sitting has been moved from Tuesday, April 10, to Thursday, April 12, 2012," spokesman George Charamba told the media.

Meanwhile, 'The Tehran Times' newspaper in Iran reported that Mugabe has entered into a "gentleman's agreement" to hand over power to his 65-year-old feared defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa widely blamed for the brutality following the 2008 presidential election after Mugabe's rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, took an early lead in the voting.