While his opponents might sigh in frustration, reportedly Robert Mugabe is not dead -- nor seriously ill -- while away on vacation in Asia. As always happens when he travels in January of each year, rumors have been doing the rounds.
Reportedly, no one in Harare had initially heard about Mugabe's passing, but when a former Zanu PF activist in northern Harare heard about it on Tuesday afternoon, he said they had got some extra "Scotch" in hand, "just in case."
Zimbabwe President Robert #Mugabe still alive: spokesman https://t.co/sXKgc8Ygxl pic.twitter.com/zPzlZBzS6kThe Independent Online quoted a security guard interviewed near Mugabe's mansion, some 20km north of the center of Harare, as saying the rumor wasn't true.
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"We would know. Our office would tell us. The police would tell us."The 35-year-old went on to say rumors like this always occur when the Zimbabwean leader is out of the country.
"I think this year we will see him in a wheel chair, with Grace pushing him around, as she said this is what she will do. But it is his birthday next month. He will be 92, so we should know it will happen in quite a short time."Despite the normal rumors in the media that Robert Mugabe looks frail, he is reportedly in good health, alert and totally in control of his mind, despite the fact he recently read the wrong speech in an opening session of parliament -- the exact same 25-minute speech he gave during his State of the Nation address the previous month, and as reported in the Inquisitr.
There are also reports that he is remarkably fit for a man his age, even though he has had a couple of falls in the past year or so, one of which went totally viral on the social media. He is, apparently, in full control of Zimbabwe and his army.
They don't call me "Die hard" For nothing <> Robert Mugabe pic.twitter.com/1cc58RUehgThe article by the Independent Online says the story was reportedly first announced on a U.K. news website, with Presidential spokesman George Charamba threatening to go after that site for its lies.
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Charamba, who denies and truth to the rumor of Robert Mugabe's death of ill health, told the Zimbabwean Herald, "You can doubt that there can be a New Year, but you cannot doubt that there will be a story on the president's alleged death every January."
He went on to accuse the U.K. website of publishing the rumor to attract more advertising and he might have been referring to the Metro, as they did publish a short report about the story.
"This is the way the website seeks to improve its hits in order to get dirty money from Google. There is a financial incentive to the grim lie.However, it seems the story may have actually emanated from a website in Zimbabwe. It was on ZimEye that a letter was published on January 12, which included the words: "President Robert Mugabe is reported to have collapsed after suffering a heart attack while on holiday with his family and is in critical condition."
"Government is exploring mechanisms for dealing with such extra territorial mischief. These websites ride on carriers, don't they?"
The letter went on to say "sources close to the president are said to be holding high-level meetings as it is believed that he won't be able to recover," and suggested that possibly Mugabe and his family had been flown out of the country and that extra troops were to be deployed in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare.
On top of this, photos taken in Dubai -- showing Mugabe with his family and senior vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa and his wife -- began circulating the rumor on the social media, with many believing the story.
Robert Mugabe. A senile murderous dictator who won't be missed. https://t.co/vjWSLdl2ZD pic.twitter.com/EYouRXQiMaAccording to most analysts, Mnangagwa is likely to take over from Mugabe when he does finally die in office.
— Adam M (@Adamskibeats8) January 13, 2016
[Photo by Diego Azubel/Pool/Getty Images]