Zimbabwe's Mugabe has prostate cancer - WikiLeaks

Mon Sep 5, 2011 11:37am GMT

* Physician told Mugabe to step down

* Mugabe denied last year he had cancer

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has prostate cancer that has spread to other organs and was urged by his physician to step down in 2008, according to a U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.

In the cable dated June 2008 and written by James D. McGee, the former U.S. ambassador in Harare, Zimbabwe's Central Bank governor Gideon Gono was cited as saying the cancer could lead to Mugabe's death in three to five years.

"Gideon Gono, governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, told the ambassador ... that President Robert Mugabe has prostate cancer that has metastasized and, according to doctors, will cause his death in three to five years," the cable said.

The Zimbabwean government and Mugabe's office was not immediately available for comment.

Mugabe, 87, has been in power since Zimbabwe gained independence from Britain in 1980.

Although there have been numerous reports over the past decades on Mugabe's health, he has no publicly known serious ailment but underwent cataract surgery in Singapore in February.

In an interview with Reuters last September, Mugabe dismissed rumours that he was dying of cancer and had suffered a stroke.   Continued...

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