16 November 2013

Zimbabwe: Mugabe in Singapore for Bona's Graduation

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe, who is out of the country on a ten-day foreign trip passed through Singapore to attend daughter, Bona's graduation.

Mugabe left the country last week for a trip that would take him to Singapore, Dubai and Kuwait but it was the stop-over in the Southeast Asia city state which sparking feverish speculation over the veteran leader's health.

The Zanu PF leader, who turns 90 next February, often travels to Singapore to see medics since undergoing what officials described as a cataract operation there in 2011.

However, officials at the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) confirmed the Zimbabwean leader had attended Bona's graduation there on Saturday.

Her mom, Grace, and brothers also attending the event.

Bona graduated with a Master of Science in Banking. The programme is affiliated with the University of Wales in the United Kingdom.

The 24 year-old did her undergraduate degree in Accounting and Finance in Hong Kong but chose to complete her Masters in Singapore.

Said Mugabe: "We know the students here are very highly competitive. Education here is taken very seriously by the government.

"The fact that our daughter managed to do a degree here has opened our eyes much more. We have been sending students to various countries, mainly Africa, America, Malaysia and Thailand.

"A few have been coming here sponsored by the government (in Singapore), but are very few. But now we are going to sponsor ourselves, going to sponsor some students especially to MDIS to do management." Mugabe, who also holidays in the region after being banned from travelling to Western capitals, last visisted Singapore just before the July 31 elections.

Aides denied reports he had some major health worry, insisting the trip was to attend a "routine" medical check-up.

Mugabe has long been dogged by speculation that he is battling advanced cancer.

He however, dismisses the media reports saying that, for a man his age, he is actually in robust physical condition.

Meanwhile, his office said from Singapore, Mugabe would travel to Dubai and Kuwait where he will join other world leaders for the third Arab-African summit to be held from November 19 to 20.

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