Mugabe comes to Singapore for 'eye check'

HARARE (AFP) - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday jetted to Singapore, where he normally receives health care, for a "routine eye check", state media reported.

A report by Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation said the 89-year-old leader was "expected back home at the weekend". President Mugabe who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, underwent cataract surgery in the city state in 2011.

But his last visit in July 2012 sparked rumours over his health, with media reports suggesting he was being treated for cancer.

The ageing leader, who is one of Africa's longest serving presidents, often dismisses rumours about his failing health.

WikiLeaks two years ago published a 2008 US diplomatic cable saying that central bank chief Gideon Gono had told the US ambassador that President Mugabe had prostate cancer and had been advised by doctors that he had less than five years to live.

But in public President Mugabe has shown little sign of ill health.

He is expected to contest elections later this year that will end a shaky power-sharing government with his old rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

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