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.”

Pin It
  • Moe_Scyslack2

    For security reasons Manheru won’t say the name of the doctor? We all know Donald Trump’s. Looks like this dude thrives on making himself sound better and more important than the rest of us. Some mythic figure. When In fact he’s just a proven loser who has run our country into the ground. We don’t care how much you spin it. We are living the results of his incompetence everyday at every turn.

    • Judas Iscariot

      Added Mr Charamba”At 93,there is something that happens to the eyes and the president cannot suffer bright lights”
      A large part of being a president involves suffering bright lights,this is why we’re saying it’s time for the president to retire, so we won’t keep torturing him with the bright lights. I am also wondering why the president hasn’t lured this Zimbabwean doctor to come and practice back home so other 93 yr olds who can’t afford a trip to Singapore can benefit from his skills. Wouldn’t it be nice for other nationals to be able to come to Zimbabwe for treatment instead of Singapore? This would help the airline industry and hotels in our country. Charamba just made a case for why it’s time for the president to rest.

  • Ijaha leMzinyathini

    Don’t be angry Prof why should government buy luxury cars ahead of medicines for public hospitals. One does not become a stooge of the west by pointing out the obvious. I repeat Ian Smith was not this cruel ,black hospitals were better stocked then than now.Sad

    • Dakarai Karanda

      Ummm, adhala, Ian Smith was not this what? You do not even know how to define cruelty! It is unfortunate you brains were damaged beyond repair nevarungu and will do whatever you can to impress Ian Smith even in his eternity. I would not be surprised if you are a man to surrender yourself to another white man to be made a wife and be $#@& from behind everyday.

  • Diago

    You do not sound like a Doctor though you claim to be one, eyes require special equipment as well which I believe is not available here, the specialist referred to is only available on appointment and one is given a time slot to visit the surgery this includes leaders and people from other countries visiting that surgery on the same day and you are suggesting that all these other people be told that the specialist is not available to them on that particular day because he has visited Zimbabwe to attend to one person ???????? I have a lot of question marks about you being a Doctor or even of having completed grade 3.

    • Zvineyi

      Referred by Opticians to Singapore? There is no referral like that, unless Manheru doesn’t know the difference between Optician and Ophthalmologist

    • Inquisitive

      Are you a medical doctor, (as there are now lots of people with the title “Dr” who are thought not to be deserving) and more specifically are you a qualified opthalmologist?

  • yowe

    Maihweeeee YOWEEEEE HAHAHAHA this has to be funniest article i have ever seen in mylife …hanzi he will not be sleeping in meetings but looking away from the light hahaha ….He is old and he must rest .Why spend tax payers money on someone who is clearly out of it ngapauye mumwe asina zvirwere zvezera izvi ambotongawo uyu achemebera …

    • succuba

      Yet he seems to have no problem standing in the midday sun in Zimbabwe in bright sunlight delivering history lessons hour on end every time he steps onto a podium.

    • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

      Democracy! The people will decide at elections , not in the social media fortunately. Ndiani asina chirwere? Chematama chenyu ichochi? Nehanda forbid!

      • yowe

        Decide kutongwa nemunhu achembera kudai???

  • yowe

    Hapana apa murume achembera uyu he should rest ndonyaya iripo chete…You have high hopes of being employed by Charamba as his deputy handiti?? Kuswero ramba zvinhu zviri pachena kudai nxaa tikwanire apa

    • Dakarai Karanda

      It’s a fact Mugabe is old. It’s not therefore a story. But has he failed to run the country?

      • Nyongolo

        HOW CAN YOU EVEN ASK THAT .That’s an insult to say the least.

    • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

      Its not a sin to be old. God giveth longevity! People vote for the leader they see want. Ko ndiyo democracy ka nhaiwe! I am not saying he is as young as when Jesus died at 33 years. That was God`s design. Wedu haasi Jeso. Anopiwa hupenyu na Mwari kwete Lucifer wamunonamatac imi we MDCT! Who said persons of his age should not get medical treatment? Muri kuti akarapwa masizo akaramba achiona chii chakaipa ipapo? After all is he as old as Methuselah yet,who lived up to 999 years? Read the Holy Bible and avoid talking rubbish.

      • Zvobgo

        Methuselah wasthe oldest person to live.
        But he did not go to 999 years.

        He was nearly 30 years shy of that.

        But savanhu who thrive on rigging tongo kutarirai hedu

        • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

          Which chapter in Genesis did you read about Methuselah`s age?
          Stop lying about our free and fair elections in 2013!

  • succuba

    Were you ever in the NYS (fakey)?

    We are all suffering in this country because of the sanctions imposed on our economy – (fakey)

    List your personal sufferings here and we can debate… yet again you seem to be the only prof that runs away from debate…kikikiki

  • Tengenenge

    Amana, ko kungonyararavo nyaya dzakadai. At times silence is GOLDEN, George.

  • Roy Moyo

    Mr Charamba put it very well. For once, i respect his explanation. He is saying there is nothing untoward with the President behaving in a manner he does at 93. This is the reason why he should retire. The time he spends in Singapore could be used to resolve huge challenges facing the country.

  • Cde Jairos Tapfuma

    How many Zimbabweans are based outside Zimbabwe?

  • mpengo

    @Herald, why did you delete my question on why Dr Solomon Guramatunhu, a world renowned eye surgeon, was not consulted instead.

    When you oppress non-offensive opinion like that, you breed what you call fake news. Because of the frustration you bring about by censoring things unjustifiably, for a skewed policy, people will reject your news and rely on other news, opening them to fake news.

    You have double standards and are not true to the profession.

  • Cde Jairos Tapfuma

    Stop lying. How many doctors are visiting patients even here in Zimbabwe? You are witchdoctor…witch doctors (varoyi) are the only ones who visit people at their homes, by night for that matter.

    • Inquisitive

      Is your language a barometer of your intelligence?

  • Cde Jairos Tapfuma

    Ukarwadziwa naMugabe haupore. Mugabe represents Africanness. Unless you are a son or daughter of an erstwhile colonial master.

    • Vhomoto


    • Dakarai Karanda

      You can say that. Makore mangani tichingohumana.

    • Hacha Duke of Enkeldoorn

      He certainly does not represent Hacha and everyone that Hacha knows. A person who was born on 18 April 1980 is now 37 years old – does that not ring a bell that something is not right.

  • nhoroondo

    ko vanoendawo kozvarira kusingapore ne kusix weeks, ah shuwa shuwa here kukwirira ndege kuenda kusix weeks, oh nyika yamaichemera hona yaita…..

  • Dakarai Karanda

    Nhai zcako. That is what shows he is based in the US, very much away from the reality on ground here in Zimbabwe.

  • Dakarai Karanda

    ZvaBona kunozvarira kuMalayisia bvunza murume wake. Unless you can prove kuti akashandisa state resources. Why bark at a train?

  • Dakarai Karanda

    How do you know if it is not Guramatunhu attending to Mugabe from Singapore? Kakuudza kuti Guramatunhu achiri kugara kuBrooke ndiyani?

  • Tari

    Prof….your analysis of things seem off normal. I suggest you go to Singapore and see Psychologist or maybe Psychiatrist….I sense there is something unusually about you… even on straightforward issues end up in sanctions basket. When someone keeps saying “I am seeing an aeroplane”when it is not even there…mmmmmm. I give up….unfortunately people continue still responding to you thinking they are dealing with a normal being.

    • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

      Me for goat skinning? You are failing to appreciate my educative contribution because my reasoning is beyond your intellectual dwarfness. Just because I think outside the Western intellectual box does not mean I am not qualified to educate you stooges of the West. Where ignorance is your bliss , it is folly for you to be wise.

  • Tar Baby

    the Singapore trips are not for the President’s eyes. MaZimba haumazive. Out of pocket or is it country allowances, kkkkk So many of these guys, Manheru (Usiku) included’ are building mansions and sending their kids to the Western Evil Countries on the President’s eyes. They would rather have him sick than retired or dead because he is more valuable to them that way. The more freq the trips abroad the richer they become. However we are still human, we wish the President good health even though there seem to be less caring on his part.

  • Just saying

    This lad has the most boring job on earth!

  • Chando

    This is propaganda dundruff from charamba aka manheru. Our hospitals are death chambers and your political elites are treated in SA or elsewhere. Time for reckoning will come ***

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    How many economies in Africa that have economic problems but without the extra burden of sanctions , you sellout? Are people is SA not demonstrating against their government also because of the neo apartheid economic system that fails to deliver economic democracy? Are people is SA demonstrating because another time Zuma went to Russia for specialist treatment , leaving the hospital in Joburg, where your Tsvangirai was treated , instead of at Harare Hospital ? How do you define running an economy properly while you are foolishly mum on the negative effects of sanctions if you want to debate our economic nadir fairly and logically. Our dear leader should not be blamed by every political nincompoop who is blind to real issues deviling our economy! Instead of preparing for the 2018 elections , you are busy focusing on our popular dear leader, who is going to win the election. How misguided can you be ,you wiseacres?

  • hunzi007

    We really dont matter about the sanctions as this should have been foreseen before your commitments into Zimasset and land grabs. All the policy dimensions taken fullfiled the unethical appetites of politicians and not the resource poor electorate. Imagine giving large tracts of land to politicians who feasted on all reserve bank savings by the Smith regime whilst the poor voters can not even access a meagre US100 note from any bank despite them getting very small portions of the massive land grabs into the A2 what what. So if you can not offset economic effects of sanctions rather return the land and reverse the ills of the Zimasset policies as we cant keep suffering for empty unforeseen promises. Why keep blame Britain or EU as we are not inhabitants of these countries. All we are asking for is functionality of our country not sanctions or anything else. We are tired of you always singing your santion praise song. Give us solutions not excuses or why we are in this trajectory, we need to know how we move out of this nadir.

  • Jonah15

    Didn’t realise Charamba has now been demoted to Mr, he is no longer a Comrade.

  • parapinda

    So you are saying that its impossible to have a blind person elected into office nhai G unit..? Inga we have a senator who is visually impaired…tomudzinga here?

  • Panga

    chii chaagona ipapo

  • Gary WekuZviyambe

    The other nationalities do not bark because their hospitals have medicines; ours have nothing!

    • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

      If they have medicines why do their leaders also go abroad for treatment you idiot?

  • mpengo

    Thanks for responding!

    • theheraldonline

      You are welcome. Enjoy your time here.

  • theheraldonline

    Zvobgo, how are you? Really? Try to keep within our terms and they will sail through. Have a nice time hey.

    • Zvobgo

      I a good in Swakopmund.
      Sad we lost Justice Mutambanengwe

      • theheraldonline

        Great you are well.
        Indeed, sad we have lost Mutambanengwe. Will be keeping you updated on the story. Good day.

  • Zvobgo

    Lets not use Mandela to justify Mugabe komured Manheru.
    Mandela left the presidency in 1999 with his 81st birthday looming.
    If he was light shy afta that, then he was just private citizen with no national obligations and could thus sleep the whole day
    As for his excellent komured Mugabe the scenario is different.
    He still goes to work at 93!!
    My O-level teacher, Mrs Zvarevashe used to say: “Plan your life well enough such that if you see yourself still working by 70, wairasha”

  • Hacha Duke of Enkeldoorn

    The money used on all those trip is more than enough to train specialist eye doctors and equip a hospital.

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    Enjoy your right to be ignorant you stooge of the West.

    • Chokwadichorwadza

      baba iwe bonga vapurofesa hamuna njere busy defending zvinhu zviri pachena..why sanctions all the time makaita murambatsvina mukaita kuti titambure, makatora minda nechisimba zvese izvi hamutaure minda yacho sora beans rega rega mafarm house makuchengetera madhongi..shame stereki nxaa

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    Stop joining the debate when you are ignorant and shallow minded. I know ANC failed to deliver. But the question is why they failed to deliver. My explanation will differ from yours .You will just sing Zuma must go , without seeing the negative effects of a neo apartheid economic system there. Sanctions are more than barring few leaders from entering New York. A number on companies that were removed from the sanctions list and some still on the list are “the elite“ to you! My foot.

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    Its you who is offside. We debate our leader`s specialist medication and stooges starting talking about our economic problems. I then remind you of the sanctions which are the major factor in the causality equation , and you say I got off topic! My foot! Tsvangison supported sanctions and he is your politically foolish leader you try to give a good image on this forum. If you dont see that then you are mentally deranged. Handei tione!

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    Why didnt you ask your foolish questions when your Tsvangirai went to SA for cancer treatment . He got a top up $70000 from the government for treatment, after making a request. Even when he went to Nigeria for spiritual treatment , why did he do so leaving our local Prophets/ Pastors? KKKKkkkiii.

  • Cde Mgagao

    The constitution only provides when the incapacity is beyond treat.

  • Cde Jairosi Jiri

    Bulawayo had a mayor in a wheelchair. Our constitution does not discriminate against the disabled , please.

  • Tavaka Zhou

    Regime change is in Zimbabwe constitution if you did not know, every five years there is a cycle called elections which are meant to effect regime change if you did not know.
    1. We all fought to liberate ourselves and where expecting a better independence from evil Smith but we see things have gone worse now.
    2. We expected our hospitals to be increased from the ones Smith and the Churches had built, but fast forward to 37 years after independence that is still a dream, yet Ministers change all terrain vehicles every year. The President flies out with family to seek medical care whether it is eye examination or Dr Amai admitted for more than 6 weeks or Bona giving birth.
    3. Yes we ordained Zanu PF but it has failed to run our beautiful country through corruption and nothing else.
    4. We can point fingers at sanctions or whatever but the biggest sanctions are from corruption that has taken root in our society.
    5. Nigerian President can seek treatment in UK or what but that is not our concern, we are concerned about our Zimbabwe.

  • yowe

    Hahahaha good one

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    Yes our hospitals are not as good as in other countries not working under illegal sanctions imposed outside the legal purview of UN security council. Zvokuti President vasano rapwa ku Singapore is political nonsense.

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    What secrecy? Its his benefits as Head of State to get the treatment as he is doing. Buhari weku Nigeria akatanga akumbira vanhu kuti va ite vote kuti anorapirwa kupi?

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    Iweka. Kanavanhu vachituka mukuru wenyika hava fanire kuita rebuke in a strong way.

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    You cant justify sanctions by pointing at some
    weaknesses in the government. Sanctions are the major factor in the casualty equation of our economic nadir. Sanctions must go while our government must also improve itself. Period.