Implication of Zimbabwe health delivery
Unless Mugabe is going for surgery on a more serious matter, does this mean that Zimbabwe lacks qualified surgeons to correct cataract disorder?
Has Mugabe run down Zimbabwe’s health delivery system such that he cannot trust his life in the hands of his compatriots?
Assuming that Mugabe and his advisors think he will not get better medical attention in Harare, the accumulation of costs to Singapore this far should have been able to improve Parirenyatwa General Hospital to any standard in the world. On the cheaper option, he would fly those specialist doctors to Harare at a fraction of the cost of a return longhaul flight. What is the cost of such a flight to his health given his age?
Zimbabwe is passing through serious liquidity problems despite widening multi-currency regime to include half dozen international currencies. International lenders have refused to extend credit lines until the southern African nation services its national debt which is estimated at between $10-13 billion.
Given President Mugabe’s level of intellect , it is doubtful he would make or authorise such irrational spending.
The only logical explanation is that Mugabe suffers from a more complicated ailment which even South African medical prowess could not be able to attend to.
What does Mugabe’s gesture mean to the 13 million citizens who have to surrender their lives to a health delivery system the first family does not trust?
Mugabe failing to trust the health delivery system he presides over is a no news in Africa.
In 2012 when former Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika died of heart attack in Lilongwe, his body had to be flown to South Africa even though burial was a week later. Malawi was having severe power outages and the main hospital, Kamuzu Central would not been able to preserve his body until burial.
George Charamba said Mugabe, Africa’s oldest president, left Harare on Monday and would be back in the country for birthday celebrations on Saturday.
“This is a routine check-up, a routine cataract operation for his left eye whose date was set down more than a year ago and the president has gone out to fulfil that appointment,” Charamba said on Tuesday.
“There is nothing more than that, nothing serious” he said, dismissing speculation that Mugabe is struggling with his health. “He had a right eye operation a couple of years ago and he is going to have the other attended to now.”
A June 2008 US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, said Mugabe had prostate cancer that had spread to other organs. He was apparently urged by his physician to step down in 2008 but has remained in the job.
Mugabe, who came to power when Zimbabwe gained independence from Britain in 1980, is one of Africa’s longest serving leaders.
‘Divine task’ to lead
In an interview ahead of his 89th birthday last year Mugabe said he felt he had a “divine task” to lead. He went on to contest and win another five-year presidential term last July that will end in 2018 when he will be 94.
Mugabe by all standards has maintained a healthy lifestyle
He denied charges by his opposition rivals that he rigged the election and that he remained in power since 2000 through violence and cheating.
Critics say Mugabe, revered in his first decade in power as a liberation hero and a pragmatic leader, squandered national goodwill by clinging to power and turning one of Africa’s most promising economies into a basket case.
On Monday, the European Union kept sanctions on Mugabe and his wife, but suspended them on eight of Zimbabwe’s most powerful military and political figures, in a cautious easing of policy after last year’s disputed elections.
Mugabe said his continued stay in power was aimed at advancing the aims of the liberation struggle for black economic empowerment, such as his policies of seizing white-owned commercial farms for blacks and forcing foreign-owned firms to surrender majority shares to locals.
In private, some in his Zanu-PF party grudgingly accepted that Mugabe manoeuvred himself into a position where he could end up president for life, a position that critics say he wants as security against possible prosecution for rights abuses.