President’s medical trips explained

Mr George Charamba

Mr George Charamba

Takunda Maodza Assistant News Editor—
President Mugabe’s physician is a black Zimbabwean practising in the country and the Head of State and Government only flies to Singapore for specialised attention on his eyes on the advice of local opticians, Presidential spokesman Mr George Charamba has said. There is also nothing amiss in the President or any other Zimbabwean seeking specialised treatment abroad, as even Presidents of First World countries get attention in countries like Singapore, he added.

Speaking on Zimpapers’ CapiTalk radio during debate on the recent classification of Zimbabwe as a fragile State at the World Economic Forum on Africa held in South Africa, Mr Charamba said there was nothing amiss in the President’s routine eye check-ups in Singapore.

“Let me address that because I notice it is a narrative which keeps coming back,” Mr Charamba said.
“As a matter of fact, and let this be known to all Zimbabweans — the physician of the President is not only Zimbabwean, he is actually black.

“For security reasons I will not tell you the real name. He is very Zimbabwean. He is very, very, very black.

“The President goes to Singapore for a very specific problem which has to do with the level of sophistication of medical skills that we have developed,” he said.

“It has to do with his eyes and often I have felt very, very pained. In fact, I feel like a failure when there is this reading that the President is sleeping in conferences, no.”

Added Mr Charamba: “At 93, there is something that happens to the eyes and the President cannot suffer bright lights. If you look at his poise, he looks down, avoids direct lighting. In the case of Mandela, if you remember, you were not allowed to even use flashes whenever he was in the room. That is what happens at 93 and Mandela, I do not think lived as long as the President did. Let us disabuse ourselves.

“For the rest of his body, the President gets attended to here. It is just that particular area and even then, it was not his decision, it was the decision of opticians who suggested that with the state of his age, with the state of the problem he was having visually, it was important that he gets advanced attention which is obtainable in Singapore.”

There was nothing untoward in the President seeking specialised attention in Singapore, Mr Charamba said.

“And by the way, that is an international health dispensing institution,” he said. “You meet First World leaders there who are coming for medical assistance in Singapore.

“So, really, there is nothing untoward in the President of Zimbabwe, who has an African Zimbabwean physician, going abroad for specialised treatment the same way that there won’t be anything untoward in Mai Charamba leaving this country to go to South Africa for specialised attention.

“That does not take away the fact that we have an excellent medical services provision in this country. We have a number of specialised doctors, who are manning our institutions.”

Mr Charamba acknowledged that there are challenges relating to provision of health services in the country, among them cost of access.

“That is a fact that we have to address as a Government,” he said. “I happen to know that it is a burning issue with Cabinet. Let us not get these easy explanations and easy answers.

“There is nowhere in the world where a Head of State or any other citizen does not go elsewhere for specialised treatment. It all depends on the level of development and we are a developing country. There is that level of intervention we have to expect, but that is only in respect of the eyes.”

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  • Dr Newton Galileo Einsten

    He is the Presidential Spokesperson. He really goes deep doesnt he, so exquisite in articulating challenges the President may have with any of his anatomy and physiology. Reminds me of a kid who, when challenged why he sleeps in class, he perfectly responds he would be looking at his eyelids. Well done job Cde, it is as clear as mud. Yes Mrs Manheru, just at the same level of materiality as Mogiza, gets attention in RSA.

  • hove

    So we have identified a need? The question is why are we not having a local solution? Our beloved President is surely not the only person suffering from this particular affliction in Zimbabwe!
    ####. Wouldn’t it make sense to employ an expatriate eye surgeon and pay him $1 million per year than to have our hero fly all those hours in pain to Singapore?

    Surely someone must hate our President! I suspect that it must be the conniving Western Leaders who are at it again by slapping their illegal sanctions on these specialists thereby stopping them from setting up shop in Zim. Evil!

    • musombodiya

      I like your thinking …..budgeting $20m will get us the equipment and personnel needed for the special condition to be treated locally not only for the owner of this country but dozens more. Then we can avoid further straining his health but having to travel those long hours.That way he can spend more time on the job that in the air

  • Buwe

    So why can’t the doctor come and practice here @ Chitungwiza hosp to save millons in unnecessary travel and equally improve local health delivery

  • Inquisitive

    I believe that at times it is better to say nothing.
    These comments you make now make me wonder who is mentally challenged; them or us?

  • Pilate Mhlanga

    Apa wagonawo Charamba.


    vacharamba ka! tomboti i specialised treatment, ko shopping kunana dubai, kids being sent to xul abroad,sisi bona giving birth there tiri kukuonai henyu, bvumai kani almost the bigger chunk of cabinet have their kids sent for colleges abroad at the expense of the state. imboitaio moyo pliz

    • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

      Ko vana va Tsvangison vakafunda kupi? Iye cancer akarapwa kupi? Koinga akapiwa $70,000 ne government akumbira kuti anorapwa ku SA. Tibvirepo iwe!

  • kutototo

    For security reasons you cannot tell us the name because there no local doctor for the president that is why he flies to Singapore for routine medical checkups.

  • Ijaha leMzinyathini

    The challenge Charamba is not in Mugabe going to Singapore for treatment , the challenge is Mugabe allowing you guys to buy SUVs and German sedans instead of using those scarce resources for stocking public hospitals which the majority use. To me that is the highest level of cruelty which even the racist Ian Smith never did to us blacks

  • zimbotry

    As a Doctor, I find this story VERY suspicious. Even if true there is NO question it would be much cheaper to bring the said doctor to Zimbabwe rather than going to Sinagapore. This would also save the time of those that are called upon for send off and reception committees. And I’m sure there would be less hanger oners for shopping trips

  • Muzezuru

    So what if you know Donald Trump’s? Do you know every other world leader’s doctor?

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    Stop howling nonsense you political stooge of the West, hell bent on speaking evil against our dear, because of the failed regime change project on our government , of which you are a desperate foot soldier. We are all suffering in this country because of the sanctions imposed on our economy over our land reform issue. You and your MDCT leader don`t even raise your dirty fingers against sanctions why? All sane economists understand that sanctions are the major cause of our economic nadir. There is no positive correlation between our dear leader`s specialized treatment abroad and our economic decline. You seem to live on Mars and don`t understand other leaders all over world also seek specialist treatment abroad. Is the Nigerian not in UK for treatment . Its evil for you to hope your failed political party can only win if our President becomes incapacitated by avoiding specialist treatment anywhere in this world. What political desperation on your part! Are you not ashamed? Your evil colleague , the disgraced Bishop Ncube once “prayed“to Lucifer for the death of our dear leader some years. You know how God disabused him. Your Tsvangiruza also mocked our dear leader during his political drama acting. God also showed Chematama the fruits of evil utterances . If you want to form your own government in this country prepare for the 2018 , elections. Avoid wasting your time devil workshop designing! Fortunately for our motherland , God has ordained ZANU PF governance to continue even if our dear leader is promoted to Heaven. Hatirege kutonga nyika ino as ZANU PF! ! We are able to defend our rule by voting wisely and patriotically. Amen! Amen!

    • Tsotso

      Professor, no amount of spin will water down the truth, no matter how allergic to the truth you are. Does he go there because other world leaders go there or because our hospitals lack the medicines and resources that are given the last priority by the government that he leads???

      • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

        Zambians , Nigerians, just to mention few, had their Presidents seeking foreign medical treatments , but they dont bark , as satanists, like you zvimbwa sungata!

        • zimbotry

          Does that make it right? Why the secrecy on who is funding all this?

        • Real Prof

          Prof. Munotuka vedu wee. Hamuna kukwana kana 1….?

    • Saphle


    • romeo the patriot

      Changamire ngavanovhiya mbudzi ava. Padare panodiwa varume vanenjere kwete pwere dzinotaura zvekutungana kwembudzi. Ihwo hwumuzvinafundo hwakazomboshambadzwa pamusoro pechuru here. Enda unovhiya mbudzi iwe!!….kkkkkkkkk

    • muzvindapanyo

      professor *** kkkkk ***

    • zimbotry

      You are the one that should be ashamed. Why is it ok for a few to live the high life while basic services, in particular our medical system, are run down and underfunded.**

      • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

        Who said its ok for people to suffer? We disagree on the causes, i.e causality equation factors. You think by heaping blame on our dear leader, he will lose in elections. The people understand the sanctions issue better than you stooges of the West . They will continue to vote for ZANU PF in their majority, while you desperately continue to lie about the causes of our economic nadir. Handei tione.

  • Im African

    SaCharamba, can’t you just admit that we have reached appalling levels as a nation? Yes, you might spin the President’s Singapore visits, what about Bona giving birth in Malaysia? Did she also need specialized midwifery? Is her gynecologist black Zimbabwean as well? What about the kids staying in Dubai? George, please spare us the political spin.

  • denzel

    Long live Mr president. But Charamba you killed me this time. Mandela had long retired when he started having health problems. ‘Where world class leaders meet ‘ hey. What wrong have we done God

  • Vhomoto

    If Charamba’s utterances are anything to go by Zimbabwe has one of the best eye surgeon probably in the world in Dr Guramatunhu. Why then does he waste public funds in travelling to Singapore when Guramatunhu is at his door step. To me this is Fruitless and Wasteful expenditure to the core as Mugabe himself and his eyes are no longer of any value to the country. Treasury Instructions classify this expenditure as such ( Fruitless and Wasteful) so the ministry of Foreign Affairs must be held accountable before the Committee of Public Accounts.

  • eliah

    I take a different view. I think he went to Singapore to get prepared for the upcoming youths rallies so that he can withstand the rigors of of those events.

  • Inspired By

    As much as i appreciate that he visited Singapore by recommendation but what puzzles me is nothing has been done or implemented by the government to ensure these trips are avoided in the first place and this is why we’ll never develop as a nation. All those trips if we calculate all the costs could have trained someone to do the same job or even bought the equipment

  • Freedom not just Independence

    We have heard you, can we also have expert commentary from those experts who referred him to Singapore. And at 93, if he has got problems with lights, why does he even attend those conferences. He doesn’t really have to. In fact we dont want him to.

  • Saphle

    Wow, you seem to understand this issue very well sir, please do explain more, we are hungry for information.

  • romeo the patriot

    I have to give it to Manheru…he is one dude who knows how to sing for his supper…Im sure this ‘eye problem’ has been with the President for years now. Would it not make sense to invest in the acquisition of the requisite equipment and development of proper facilities locally in order to benefit ordinary citizens as well? Im sure there are thousands of people in this country who suffer similar ailments but cannot afford to go to Singapore for treatment. In this way, they would have killed two birds with one stone: save millions of dollars spent on these annual trips and open wider access to ordinary citizens to enjoy better facilities. Im positive that if the President were to put a request of this nature to his ‘all weather’ friends , Russia and China, something could be done and the ‘revolutionary’ party would once again shame its ‘detractors’ by proving that they indeed care for the masses…

  • Freedom not just Independence

    To attend to one person? Are you trying to insinuate that Mugabe is the only Zimbabwean suffering from such eye problems? Or the only one deserving to go to Singapore. All other Zimbabweans are worthless?

  • Tautona

    Guys lets take this easy ,there is nothing wrong for our President to get medical attention anywhere !For Mr Charamba to say the name of the doctor its not wise to reveal ,that is highly confidential even myself l wouldn’t tel people my doctors names !We shed learn from the President when it comes to keeping health he is 93 & still healthy ,medical routine check ups is a way to go .Back to Cde Muzvinavhu most of the time he sounds like he is an online project to defend some misdeeds of his party ,l wonder if he is being payed well by the project founder .Cde dont insult a fellow citizen by calling them stooges of the west that is unkind & uncalled for !

  • g unit

    Dear cdes

    I have known cde Charamba to be a true democrat, but now because of his position in government he was suppressing his feelings for a very long time. He has become brave now , how people may ask? Cde Charamba is not trying to explain why the president is being treated outside of the country he is just trying to expose and give his fellow colleagues in the ruling party Zanu pf, and the MDCs the grounds to remove the head of state. He is being true to the regime change agenda. According to the constitution of Zimbabwe in section 97 one of the things which Zimbabweans can use to remove President Mugabe is his inability to perform the functions of the office because of physical or mental incapacity . Now cde Charamba is telling that nation that number one has no capacity to lead because he cannot see when there is light. Cdes he is saying how can we have a leader who can only operate in the dark. Thank you cde Charamba for finally coming out clear.

    • mpengo

      I will have to agree with everyone on your reasoning on disability.

      Being able to see or not see is not grounds for one to be disqualified for sitting in office.

      We have never discriminated against disability on any side of any fence.

  • jojo

    maybe he,by being in the USA,is more informed than you who rely on Charamba and Herald for heavily biased even looks more ridiculous for the president to ‘follow’ a Zimbabwean professional who fled the economic rot and low wages to Singapore.double whatever the good Dr is getting ,buy him the modern tools for his trade and he and many others will flock back home and assist many Zimbabweans [ and not just the president alone.] in no time at all

  • mpeng


    Are you stating that the comment disappeared or are you saying (in not so many words) that your review queue is so long that 3hours(or more) is sufficient wait time before a comment is reviewed?

    • theheraldonline

      Kindly check towards the middle of the thread.

  • succuba

    And your point?

  • jojo

    yes he your rose tinted glasses ,are you seing Zimbabwe as being run properly?

  • Knox Moyo Chirandu

    Basa ramukoma Charamba rakawoma akomana, heyyyy!!!

  • CDE Chakadenga

    Whether or not other husbands go kwamai Mutakunanzva who lives at the corner of the street does it mean I must go kwamai Mutakunanzva also. If I can get mutakunanzva from my wife then there is no need to go to the lady who lives by the corner. So Bob must not justify his visits to Singapore based on the fact that others are also doing it, rather he should fix his home to the standard he has seen in those countries. Not very long ago Bob was calling those in the diaspora to come back home asking “what are they doing there” now what is he doing there?

  • Vhomoto

    good question. you could be right

  • yowe

    Is that a serious question ??? How old are you exactly..?

  • yowe

    Yes hahaha

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    You cannot separate the sanctions issue when people raise issue about our economic performance! Today the Jews are not Christians because they never accepted Jesus speaking outside the traditional religious box. Some thought the young man , who died , at 33 years was crazy and had him crucified. When stooges like you keep on saying the West lied . They never imposed sanctions. Are you supposed to be considered sane?

  • yowe


  • succuba

    the negative effects of sanctions if you want to debate our economic nadir fairly and logically. – (fakey)

    Lets debate fairly and logically (fakey) instead of firing of soundbites then ducking under the table when challenged…. come on (fakey), let’s debate the issues of sanctions right here once and for all fairly and logically!!

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    Ah , you justify sanctions? How dare you provoke my revolutionary spirit? No as apology for our land reform. We are on the verge of defeating the sanctions. Because they are still on and caused our economic nadir , why should I not continue attacking your sanctions. Why should I get political advice from you who enjoy the sanctions hoping they will give your stooge party, MDCT, political mileage?

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    Who is Manheru?

  • zimbotry


  • zimbotry

    So where does the money come from for these overseas trips, the fancy cars, the overseas schools, the USD middleman are using to buy from farmers at cut prices. How can the First Lady openly defy Court orders…….You are so full of yesterday issues

  • zimbotry

    Try living in 2017 and the real World for a change

  • muzvindapanyo

    prof makanyanya kupusa kkkk makadzidza mugomo nemakudo kkk mhata yenyu shefu

  • zimbotry

    Think what you will. We have some very good eye specialists in Zimbabwe. But my main point is why is it ok for the Leader of those who have run down our health system to go offshore at great expense when the rest suffer

    • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

      You are wrong to say its our dear leader who ran down our medical services. Even without being run down , people can seek specialist services which are only found elsewhere. Does out law bar people from getting services abroad? Its stupid to say Cde Mugabe is responsible for sanctions that caused our economic problems, and decline in our economy.

  • zimbotry

    Many are here helping on Aid programs. Most are from the evil West. Without them and in particular the Aid we receive, things would be even worse. You have no idea what you are talking about.

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    Smith limited the number of blacks who would live in urban areas and gave then the limited services which you miss . Its not logical to compare his services targeted for few people then.. Given your nostalgia for Rhodesia you will tell me there was no ZESA load shedding in Rhodesia . Few blacks had access to electricity as you may not know .

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    Your school boyish comment? Because Libya , like Iran have oil exports, they can erode sanctions easily, compared to Zim. Please dont show your shallow understanding of issues. Usa ganhire zvausinga nyatsozivisisa please.

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    I am a seasoned fighter. I would not break down over minor issues than the suffering we experienced during the armed struggle. Ndinga shaya hope ne ma problems iwaya chete , we are about to solve.

    • succuba

      You mean seasoned liar.

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    Ah, you decide when he should retire by suggesting he should not be treated successfully. Try something else you stooge of the West. You betrayed Jesus and you think this time around you can succeed by suggesting that to us. Kana zviri izvo zvinoda majority voters handei tione.

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    To defend our President.

  • succuba

    You poor deluded fool.

  • succuba

    kikikikki… to many lies there…

  • succuba

    What debate? you won’t debate, you are a fraud.

  • s shumba

    Why did the corrupt Govnt give him 70k. To cover up…? for situations like now