Robert Mugabe, a former president of Zimbabwe who was the world’s oldest head of state before he was ousted from power last year, is no longer able to walk due to declining health, his successor said Saturday.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa told ruling party supporters in Mugabe’s home area that the 94-year-old Mugabe has spent the past two months in a hospital in Singapore.
“He can no longer walk but we will continue to take care of him,” said Mnangagwa, who took over from his former mentor a year ago after Mugabe stepped down under military pressure.
Mnangagwa said the former leader had planned to return to Zimbabwe on Oct. 15, but he was not feeling well. He is now expected to return this coming Friday.
During his 37-year reign, first as prime minister and then as president, Mugabe led the country from independence and white minority rule to repression and dire economic circumstances. As he aged, he would sometimes nod off during events.
His wife once said her husband would rule the nation from the grave.
Mugabe’s firing of Mnangagwa as his deputy led to his ouster. The two have since reconciled. Mugabe supported an opposition leader in Zimbabwe’s July election, but accepted Mnangagwa's win.
“All of us are now duty-bound to rally behind the government,” he said.
Mnangagwa in turn on Saturday heaped praise on the former president.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.