Mugabe hospitalized in Malaysia

A spokesman for Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has denied Mr. Mugabe is ill, after diplomats and political sources said he was hospitalized in Malaysia.

George Charamba told the Zimbabwean newspaper Newsday that President Mugabe is on “annual leave” in Malaysia and will return to Zimbabwe soon. The paper quoted a spokesman for Mr. Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party who also said Mr. Mugabe is on leave.

A source close to ZANU-PF told VOA Tuesday that Zimbabwe’s president had a minor medical procedure in Malaysia. The source said Mr. Mugabe is well, would be back in Harare on Sunday and ready for a Cabinet meeting on February 9.

Earlier, diplomatic sources in Harare and South Africa said President Mugabe underwent a “serious” operation in Kuala Lumpur that involved removal of his prostate.

The sources said Mr. Mugabe was ill but likely to return to Zimbabwe in about a week. They said a full recovery is expected.

Mr. Mugabe will be 87 years old next month and has been in excellent health.

He has consulted doctors and an eye specialist in Malaysia in the past.

Mr. Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since the country won independence from Britain in 1980. voa

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