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Mugabe fails to return from annual leave


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By Staff Reporter

SWELLING rumours surround President Robert Mugabe's failure to return from his annual leave.

Mugabe takes his annual leave from December to the end of January, but as of Friday, Vice President Joice Mujuru was still acting President.

Government sources told New Zimbabwe.com Friday that Mugabe's failure to return to work was "sending diplomatic tongues wagging".

Constitutional law expert Dr Lovemore Madhuku told SW Radio Africa last night that it appeared Mugabe was slowly scaling down, handing over work to Mujuru.

Madhuku said the recent signing of the draconian General Laws Amendment Act (GLAA) into law by Mujuru was significant in that Mugabe rarely gives that power and authority to anyone but himself. The law expert believes Mugabe is actually grooming Mujuru.

Mujuru signed the Act, which advocates for the imprisonment of journalists who write falsehoods, people who insults the president and bans unauthorised gatherings, on Friday last week.

Madhuku told SW Radio: “I believe Mugabe keeps postponing his return to work by a day… and so he is acting against the natural order of things (retiring) when he says he wants to go back to work.

“Mujuru is very very far from the kind of person that would lead our country. This country has enormous problems and from what we have seen of Mujuru, and this has nothing to do with gender, is that she has no capacity. She is just empty.”

Government sources told New Zimbabwe.com last night that rather than scaling down, Mugabe who has led Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, was "unwell".

The sources said Mugabe chaired a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday this week, but was visibly unwell.

Asked what the source of Mugabe's medical irritation could be, the official said: "Let's stop looking for hidden problems. The guy is 82 and at that age nothing fuctions properly.

"The age would not be so much of a factor if he was presiding over a peaceful, vibrant country but Zimbabwe is going through the worst crisis in human history."

Mugabe's official spokesman, George Charamba, was said to be in Namibia on Friday and was unavailable to comment.

Last month, Mugabe attended the 6th African Union Summit in Khartoum, Sudan, and looked tired, his eyes bloodshot and with developed under eye sacks.

Mugabe's officials have previously rubbished reports about his poor health, insisting that the President was "as fit as a teenager".

Mugabe's health remains one of the most secretly guarded for a head of state anywhere.

His deteriorating health was the subject of frenzied speculation last month after he was seen leaving a South African clinic with his wife, Grace.

Zimbabwean authorities, and the Garden City Clinic, where Mugabe visited, maintained that he had only visited a sick relative.
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