In Summary
  • Up until his death, no one would even officially confirm the hospital where Mugabe was being treated, sending journalists on a wild goose chase in the early hours after the announcement in Harare of his passing.
  • Mugabe's nephew Adam Molai the former leader "was surrounded by family" when he passed away and that he died "very peacefully".

SINGAPORE

Former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe spent his final days in Singapore at one of Asia's best hospitals, more than 8,000 kilometres away from his homeland.

He died Friday aged 95 at Gleneagles Hospital, breathing his last while surrounded by family members, according to a relative.

STRICTLY-RULED COUNTRY

Why would an African leader chose to seek medical treatment in faraway Singapore?

Singapore's reputation as a strictly-ruled country is conducive to privacy and lacks a paparazzi culture and an aggressive media.

Its healthcare system is reputed to be among the best in the world, offering a whole range of services from health screenings to high-end surgical procedures.

A controversial figure like Mugabe could expect no protesters to hound him, as Singapore has strict rules against political gatherings.

Up until his death, no one would even officially confirm the hospital where Mugabe was being treated, sending journalists on a wild goose chase in the early hours after the announcement in Harare of his passing.

Local media said he first sought medical treatment for a cataract problem in 2011 and returned in 2014 for another procedure. Since then, his visits became more frequent.

AFP journalists saw Mugabe at Gleneagles Hospital in 2017. It was the first time he has been seen in public since he was forced to resign after a military takeover brought a sudden end to his authoritarian 37-year rule.

He was back in Singapore in April this year as his health deteriorated and a relative said he was in and out of the hospital while in the city-state.

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