Mugabe Deathwatch?

Barely a day after sending his condolences to Malawians on the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is reportedly on his own deathbed.

The Australian has reported that Mugabe is “said to be fighting for his life” in a hospital in Singapore, where he was apparently overseeing his daughter’s enrollment in a postgraduate program. It is not clear when he was admitted or what is wrong, but it seems that he has been ill for some time. A cable released by WikiLeaks recently noted that Mugabe was suffering from cancer and that his doctor had advised him to retire in 2008. According to The Australian “The alarm was raised when the government postponed a cabinet meeting set for today.”

The news comes shortly after the Tehran Times ran a story on an agreement Mugabe struck with his Defense Minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa, in which he would hand power over to Mnangagwa after the next scheduled elections. They report that the plan was for Mugabe to stand as ZANU PF’s candidate “one last time.” The deal was allegedly struck in 2008. Mnangagwa was once head of the Zimbabwean Central Intelligence Organization and is infamous for his alleged roles in politically motivated violence against civilians.

A representative of ZANU PF told New that Mugabe was scheduled to return on Wednesday and denied that there is any kind of health emergency. He said, “The President is on his Easter holidays, like everyone else.”

President Mugabe is 88 years old. He served as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe from 1980-1987, and has since then been President.