Former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe spent his final days in Singapore at one of Asia’s best hospitals, more than 8,000 kilometres (5,000 miles) away from his homeland.
He died Friday aged 95 at Gleneagles Hospital, breathing his last while surrounded by family members, according to a relative.
Why would an African leader chose to seek medical treatment in faraway Singapore?
Why Singapore? –
Singapore’s reputation as a strictly-ruled country is conducive to privacy and lacks a paparazzi culture and an aggressive media.
Its healthcare system is reputed to be among the best in the world, offering a whole range of services from health screenings to high-end surgical procedures.
A controversial figure like Mugabe could expect no protesters to hound him, as Singapore has strict rules against political gatherings.
Up until his death, no one would even officially confirm the hospital where Mugabe was being treated, sending journalists on a wild goose chase in the early hours after the announcement in Harare of his passing.
– How long had he sought treatment in Singapore? –
Local media said he first sought medical treatment for a cataract problem in 2011 and returned in 2014 for another procedure. Since then, his visits became more frequent.