FOR the first time in many years, there is immense doubt within Zanu PF as to whether President Robert Mugabe will be fit to stand as the party’s presidential candidate in 2018 due to his deteriorating health and old age, top officials have said.
Mugabe (92) has been showing signs of frailty for a long time and often appears to be struggling to walk. Official sources this week said there was uncertainty over the party’s presidential candidate ahead of the 2018 elections.
Mugabe frequently travels to Singapore for treatment at the state-of-the-art Gleneagles Hospital. Government sources also said he has been spending less time in his office due to a combination of old age and ill-health which has slowed him down over the years.
Mugabe’s infirmity has been amplified in recent times since his dramatic fall at Harare International Airport in January last year while returning from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he had taken over the rotational African Union chairmanship.
After the fall, Mugabe stunned the nation in September last year when he read a wrong speech during the official opening of the Third Session of the Eighth Parliament. He read the same speech he had delivered during the State of the Nation Address that he had presented before Parliament in August last year.
He also showed signs of worsening frailty when he stumbled backwards before being assisted by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and aides to scale a small step while attending the India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi in October last year.