WikiLeaks: ‘Mugabe has prostate cancer’

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has prostate cancer that has spread to other organs and was urged by his physician to step down in 2008, according to a United States diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.

In the cable dated June 2008 and written by James McGee, the former US ambassador in Harare, Zimbabwe’s Central Bank governor Gideon Gono was cited as saying the cancer could lead to Mugabe’s death in three to five years.

“Gideon Gono, governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, told the ambassador … that President Robert Mugabe has prostate cancer that has metastasized and, according to doctors, will cause his death in three to five years,” the cable said.

The Zimbabwean government and Mugabe’s office was not immediately available for comment.

Mugabe (87) has been in power since Zimbabwe gained independence from Britain in 1980.

Although there have been numerous reports over the past decades on Mugabe’s health, he has no publicly known serious ailment but underwent cataract surgery in Singapore in February.

Still going strong
In an interview with Reuters last September, Mugabe dismissed rumours that he was dying of cancer and had suffered a stroke.

McGee said in the cable as saying that Mugabe’s doctor had recommended that the Zimbabwean leader cut back on his activities and cited Gono as saying that the Zimbabwean leader received medical advice to step down.

In a reference to an earlier meeting with Gono in 2007, the cable says Mugabe had told his doctor that he would step down after the elections in 2008.

Zimbabwean media reported on Saturday that Mugabe had said elections will be held early next year.


Elections are only due in 2013 but Mugabe says the unity government he was forced into two years ago with his rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, has run its course.

Analysts say Mugabe’s inner circle wants an early election, fearing the veteran leader may not be able to cope with the demands of campaigning in two years’ time when he will be 89. – Reuters

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

The recovered remain cautious

People who have survived Covid-19 are not going through life carefree. They are still taking all the preventative measures

Lockdown relief scheme payouts to employees tops R14-billion

Now employers and employees can apply to the Unemployment Insurance Fund for relief scheme payments
Advertising

Press Releases

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

Call for applications for the position of GCRO executive director

The Gauteng City-Region Observatory is seeking to appoint a high-calibre researcher and manager to be the executive director and to lead it

DriveRisk stays safe with high-tech thermal camera solution

Itec Evolve installed the screening device within a few days to help the driver behaviour company become compliant with health and safety regulations

Senwes launches Agri Value Chain Food Umbrella

South African farmers can now help to feed the needy by donating part of their bumper maize crop to delivery number 418668

Ethics and internal financial controls add value to the public sector

National treasury is rolling out accounting technician training programmes to upskill those who work in its finance units in public sector accounting principles

Lessons from South Korea for Africa’s development

'Leaders can push people through, through their vision and inspiration, based on their exemplary actions'

Old Mutual announces digital AGM

An ambitious plan to create Africa’s biggest digital classroom is intended to address one of the continent’s biggest challenges — access to education

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday