Harare: Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has terminal cancer and is not likely to live beyond 2013, leaked US diplomatic cables have claimed.
The latest WikiLeaks documents claimed that Mugabe, 87, was diagnosed with prostate cancer and warned by doctors in 2008 that he had only five years to live.
Mugabe’s battle with the disease was divulged to the former US ambassador to Harare James McGee, by Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono, during a private meeting in June 2008, the Daily Mail reports.
In notes following their meeting McGee wrote that Gono told him Mugabe’s condition had worsened and doctors said he could be dead within three to five years.
“According to Gono, Mugabe’s doctor had recommended he cut back on his activities,” McGee wrote in a cable to Washington.
“Mugabe had told his doctor, according to Gono, that he would leave office after the election,” he added.
If true, the details confirm persistent rumours that Mugabe is suffering from prostate cancer and has sought life-saving treatment in Malaysia, the paper said.
Gono was one of Mugabe’s most trusted aides until last year when it emerged that he was having an extra-marital affair with the First Lady, Grace.
Since the release of WikiLeaks documents, he has emerged as a regular provider of information to the West about Zimbabwe’s regime, although he now claims much of the intelligence attributed to him is ‘lies’.