Wheelchair On Standby For Mugabe In Jakarta

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Jakarta – President Robert Mugabe and the Chairman of North Korea’s Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly Kim Yong-nam – two of the oldest State leaders attending the 60th Asian-African Conference Commemoration (AACC) – did not participate in the Bandung Historical Walk in the West Java capital yesterday.

But Mugabe, 91, and Kim, 87, however, were at the Merdeka building, where the original conference was held in 1955, to attend the commemoration ceremony which was held after the walk.

Mugabe, who sat next to Kim, delivered a speech, as the chairman of the African Union and two officials helped him walk down the stage’s stairs after the speech.

A medical officer at the building said Zimbabwean officials had borrowed a wheelchair for the President, who has been in power since 1980.

The historical walk was a re-enactment of a similar walk performed by dozens of leaders from both continents during the 1955 conference and marked the last of the series of events in the AACC, which began on Sunday.

Several Heads of State and Government from Asian and African nations and delegates from nearly 90 countries took part in the walk with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Chinese President Xi Jinping leading the pack.

Mugabe’s fall in February this year at Harare International Airport brought his ageing and frail health under scrutiny.

During his 90th birthday interview last year, Mugabe admitted that his right knee had “started to give a bit of trouble”.

During the same year he flew several times to Malaysia and Singapore allegedly to get medical attention for eye cataracts according to official reports from his office.

However, speculation is high that he may be suffering from prostate cancer, a common disease among the aged.

The international world has not spared Mugabe who they blame for the demise of the country’s once robust economy.