Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe Tuesday flew to Singapore for a medical check-up as his Zanu-PF party battled to conclude the selection of candidates for the July 31 general election.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has imposed a Wednesday deadline for parties to submit names of their candidates ahead of the Friday sitting of the nomination court.
President Mugabe’s spokesman, George Charamba said the veteran ruler who has made frequent trips to Singapore in recent years for treatment had gone for a routine eye check-up and will return at the weekend.
“His Excellency the President Robert Mugabe today left Harare for Singapore,” Mr Charamba said.
“He will meet his optometric for a scheduled routine eye check.”
Two years ago the 89 year old leader revealed that he had undergone a cataract operation in the Far East but has insisted that he has no serious health problems.
However, senior government officials were quoted in leaked United States diplomatic cables claiming that he was suffering from advanced prostate cancer.
Besides battling chaos in his Zanu PF party, President Mugabe would be facing at least five court cases challenging his July 31 election date proclamation on Wednesday.
The Constitutional Court will hear a record number of six cases pertaining to the pending elections.
One of the cases was filed by Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa seeking the extension of the poll date from July 31 to August 14 following advice from regional leaders.
Five cases filed by an opposition party leader and ordinary citizens challenging the July 31 poll date would be heard.
President Mugabe’s other coalition partners – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube of the smaller formation of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) – have also filed separate cases challenging the date.
The Constitutional Court is yet to set a date for their hearing.
President Mugabe set the election dates a fortnight ago after the Constitutional Court him to ensure the polls are held by July 31.
But the proclamation has triggered lawsuits and bickering in the troubled inclusive government.
The Zanu-PF leader, in power since 1980 and intending to run for another five year term, was accused of setting the date unilaterally.