Mugabe’s lieutenants told Radio VOP on Tuesday that President Mugabe was due home on Wednesday and several Zanu (PF) members were expected to line up at the airport to meet him.
His party Secretary for Administration Didymus Mutasa said: “That is not new to us, how many times have you heard that the president is very sick? As far as I know he will be in the country and on Thursday he will be chairing the cabinet.”
Shamu told Radio VOP on Tuesday the President was alive and well.
“Why do you want to be told about your President by those foreign newspapers? It is not true and absolutely false that he is sick. He is alive. It is just speculation by those who wish him dead,” Shamu to Radio VOP.
Party spokesman Rugare Gumbo said: “These reports are the works of our detractors. They want to set us up against each other; the President is well and alive. We are expecting him back in the country tomorrow or the day after. He will be chairing a cabinet meeting on Thursday so we don’t know where these people are getting these reports.”
Meanwhile Shamu ordered journalists from NewsDay and the Daily News to his office at 11 am on Wednesday and gave them a dressing down.
“He was fuming,” said one of the editors who attended the meeting.
“During our presence he called Tafataona Mahoso (chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe Media Commission) and summoned him to a meeting at 11:30 am.
“He told him it was high time they should start acting on errant journalists.”
On Tuesday, the international media was awash with stories that Mugabe was battling for his life at a Singapore hospital.
The story was triggered by a story carried by the UK based Zimbabwe Mail website, which quoted unnamed Zanu (PF) officials.
The website claimed Mugabe had reached an agreement to transfer power to Defence Minister Emerson Mnangagwa.
The mainstream MDC party has complained that Mugabe’s continued absence is derailing government business. The party has demanded that Mugabe should come out clean on the status of his health and stop holding the country to ransom.
Gumbo hit back saying Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai also once missed cabinet meetings after he got injured while playing golf.
“Why should we always make it a case whenever the president is away, no one said anything when Tsvangirai was injured from what we hear was a golf match, please let’s not concentrate on trivial issues,” said Gumbo.