Mugabe holds talks with Malayisian PM Razak en-route to Singapore health check-up tour

Harare – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabehas reportedly met and held talks with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in Malaysia.

Reports on Friday indicated that Mugabe, 92, was on a one-day surprise visit to the Southeast Asian country.

Malaysia’s foreign ministry said it was the nonagenarian’s first working visit to Malaysia since 2000, although he had previously visited Malaysia and Singapore for medical procedures

Mugabe’s health has been increasingly under the spotlight in recent years.

The veteran leader has, however, denied reports of ill health and vowed to stand for reelection in 2018.

According to state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) Mugabe held bilateral talks with Razak in Putrajaya on Friday.

The two leaders discussed issues relating to bilateral co-operation between the two countries.

“As developing countries, the two share similar views on the reform of the United Nations and the need for fair trade on the global arena,” the report said.

New Zimbabwe reported on Saturday that Mugabe was accompanied by his wife Grace, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa and Transport Minister Joram Gumbo, among other officials.

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.

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