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Mugabe spends 90th birthday in Singapore

Zimbabwe President and Africa's oldest leader Robert Mugabe marked his 90th birthday receiving medical treatment in Singapore Friday, reigniting rumours that the man who has ruled his country since independence could be in ill health. While Mugabe's aides insist he is fighting fit, his absence on his birthday from the country he has ruled for nearly 34 years -- ostensibly for eye surgery -- has sparked speculation. He is not expected back in Zimbabwe until shortly before an elaborate stadium birthday celebration on Sunday that is said to be costing around $1 million.

Easing of EU sanctions on Zimbabwe a 'non-event': Mugabe party

President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party on Tuesday dismissed the easing of European Union sanctions on Zimbabwe as a "non-event," after the veteran leader and his wife remained blacklisted. The EU on Monday lifted a visa ban and assets freeze against members of Zimbabwe's ruling elite with the exception of Mugabe, who turns 90 on Friday, and his wife Grace. "We want total removal of sanctions. We don't accept piecemeal removal of sanctions," Rugare Gumbo, ZANU-PF spokesperson told AFP.

Mugabe in Singapore for eye operation ahead of 90th birthday

By Cris Chinaka HARARE (Reuters) - President Robert Mugabe is in Singapore for an eye operation ahead of his 90th birthday on Friday, a spokesman said, maintaining a government denial that Zimbabwe's long-serving ruler is suffering from prostate cancer. George Charamba said Mugabe, Africa's oldest president, left Harare on Monday and would be back in the country for birthday celebrations on Saturday.

Mugabe in Singapore for eye operation ahead of 90th birthday

By Cris Chinaka HARARE (Reuters) - President Robert Mugabe is in Singapore for an eye operation ahead of his 90th birthday on Friday, a spokesman said, maintaining a government denial that Zimbabwe's long-serving ruler is suffering from prostate cancer. George Charamba said Mugabe, Africa's oldest president, left Harare on Monday and would be back in the country for birthday celebrations on Saturday.

EU eases Zimbabwe sanctions, keeps them on Mugabe

By Adrian Croft BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union suspended sanctions on eight of Zimbabwe's most powerful military and political figures on Monday, but kept them on President Robert Mugabe and his wife, in a cautious easing of policy after last year's disputed elections. The 28-nation EU, which imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2002 in protest at human rights abuses and violations of democracy under Mugabe, has gradually eased sanctions over the last few years to encourage political reform.

Zimbabwe's Mugabe says long life is 'God's will'

Africa's oldest leader and Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, whose state of health has sparked speculation in recent years, on Tuesday credited his longevity to "God's will". "I do not know how I have come to live this long. It is all God's will," Mugabe, who turns 90 on February 21, said at the burial of his younger sister Bridget.

Mugabe appears in public to mourn sister

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has made his first public appearance this year, quashing speculation about his health as he mourns his sister's death. State television on Monday showed images of Mugabe greeting government officials and members of his ZANU-PF party at his official residence in the capital Harare. The veteran leader, who turns 90 next month, did not show signs of declining health as he greeted those paying their condolences at State House on Sunday, after his younger sister Bridget passed away in a Harare hospital.

Zimbabwe denies Mugabe illness

Zimbabwean authorities on Thursday denied reports that President Robert Mugabe has extended his annual leave due to ill health. "The President goes on leave every year in January," Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba told AFP. "He is still on leave and how can he be seeking an extension when we have not come to the end of January?" Charamba also denied reports that the veteran leader was unwell. "As far as I know, he is well and enjoying his rest."

Mugabe lashes out at divisions in party eyeing successors

Africa's oldest leader, Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, on Friday denounced divisions in his ZANU-PF party as factions aligned themselves with senior members hoping to become his successor. "We cannot build a united party when we divide people into camps of those who belong to so and so and those who belong to so and so," the 89-year-old told thousands of stalwarts at an annual conference of the ruling party. The veteran leader, in power for 33 years, began a new five-year term in August after winning disputed elections.

Economic woes, factionalism haunt Mugabe party ahead of meeting

Zimbabwe's ruling party opens its annual conference Thursday with the twin spectres of the moribund economy and infighting over veteran President Robert Mugabe's succession casting long shadows. The three-day conference is ZANU-PF's last before its elective congress next year and comes against the backdrop of renewed clashes among contenders to succeed Mugabe,who at 89 is Africa's oldest head of state.
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