The Gleneagles Hospital was named one of the world’s top 10 hospitals for medical tourists in 2013. In a statement, Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba said the president was on a week-long “private visit” during which he will undergo “a routine eye check-up following a recent procedure on the same”. There have long been reports though that Mugabe is suffering from cancer. There is a well-regarded cancer clinic at the hospital.
Earlier this month Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa suggested that the Zimbabwean government could criminalise discussion of both Mugabe’s health and the presidential succession. It is Mr Mugabe’s second visit to Singapore for medical reasons this year.
The Zimbabwe president was last seen on the international stage at the canonisation of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II in April. He is banned from travel to the European Union and the United States for alleged human rights abuses and electoral fraud. But the ban does not apply to the Vatican, and Mugabe met Pope Francis during the canonisation ceremony.