In Brief

Robert Mugabe 'ruling Zimbabwe from his sickbed'

President reportedly receiving medical treatment in Singapore for third time this year

Robert Mugabe is "ruling Zimbabwe from a hospital bed", opposition parties have claimed after the 93-year-old politician reportedly made his third trip to Singapore for medical treatment this year.

A government minister told The Standard newspaper Mugabe was making a private visit to the city state. However, an opposition party spokesman said Singapore was "literally his home now".

Another added: "The country is stagnant today because the Zanu president is running the show from his hospital bed."

Mugabe reportedly flew to Singapore on Friday, causing the ruling Zanu-PF party to cancel a youth rally that he had been scheduled to attend and prompting speculation that the trip had been unplanned.

Africa's oldest leader, who took power in 1980, spent more than £39m on foreign travel last year, double the amount allocated to upgrading the country's hospitals and health centres, according to data from the Zimbabwean treasury cited by The Guardian.

He has been beset by health problems in recent years but has nevertheless said he plans to live to 100 and rule for life. His Zanu-PF party has already entered him as their candidate for the 2018 elections, while his wife Grace has said he should run "as a corpse" if he dies before then.

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