National hero and Zimbabwe’s former President Cde Robert Mugabe had advanced cancer, and had to be taken off chemotherapy treatment because it was no longer effective, before he died, President Mnangagwa has revealed.
Hinting on the possible cause of Cde Mugabe’s death for the first time, President Mnangagwa said he intended to visit the former leader in Singapore, where he had been receiving treatment, after the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), which was held in Yokohama, Japan, last month.
President Mnangagwa said this in New York on Saturday while addressing Zanu-PF supporters living in North America.
The President is in the United States for the 74th Ordinary Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
President Mnangagwa briefed the party supporters on the demise of the country’s founding leader in Singapore, saying he heard about him being unwell while he was attending the TICAD in Japan and had intended to visit both Cde Mugabe and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who is hospitalised in China.
“In fact, when we discussed about the issue, it turned out that treatment had stopped, doctors had stopped treatment, chemotherapy, one, because of age and also because the cancer had spread and it was not helping anymore,” he said on the illness of Cde Mugabe.
“He would have come back home, but the family said they wanted to remain. Of course, they would have wanted me to come to Singapore, but also we had our Vice President General (Constantino) Chiwenga, who is in a military hospital in Beijing, who was going into a major operation and those two demands,” the President said.
The former president died on September 6 aged 95.
In early August, President Mnangagwa dispatched a delegation led by Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda, Cde Mugabe’s personal physician Professor Jonathan Matenga and Director-General in the Office of the President and Cabinet Ambassador Isaac Moyo, to check on his health, which had deteriorated.
The former president died on September 6.
President Mnangagwa assembled a delegation led by Vice President Kembo Mohadi, comprising former President Mugabe’s family, the family of the former First Lady — the Marufus — and Zanu-PF officials to facilitate the repatriation of the national hero’s body from Singapore.