PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s spokesman, George Charamba, was on Monday released from a Singaporean hospital where he had been admitted for seven days for treatment of an undisclosed ailment.
Charamba accompanied President Mugabe on a trip to Tokyo, Japan, where he had gone to solicit investment deals and support the Japanese premier’s quest for reforms at the United Nations.
The trip was at the invitation of Japanese Prime Minister, Shonso Abbey.Charamba was part of the delegation which left Harare on March 23, arriving in Tokyo two days later following a brief stopover in Singapore.
While in Japan, Charamba had to fly back to Singapore on Monday last week after suddenly complaining of “breathing problems”, according to sources.
On arrival in the city, diplomatic sources said he was admitted at an unnamed hospital until early this week.He had been expected to link up with the rest of the team when they landed in Singapore from Tokyo for the connecting flight to Harare but failed to do so, the sources added.
His doctor is said to have refused to release him, saying he wanted to assess his condition.
“He reacted to an antibiotic and was admitted in Singapore. We understand the doctor had ordered him to take a rest for three days. He has since been discharged and is now expected back in the country today,” said a government source on Monday.
Charamba, who normally has a visible presence around President Mugabe, was conspicuous by his absence at the Harare International Airport when scores of ruling party supporters, government dignitaries and the party’s top brass turned up to welcome the ZANU-PF leader and his delegation from the Far East country.
He has been unusually quiet following his public fights with senior ZANU-PF members. Charamba was not answering calls to his mobile number yesterday.
Charamba got entangled in the ZANU-PF factional wars in which he took sides with a faction aligned to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The Mnangagwa faction is battling against another called Generation 40 (G40), believed to be determined to thwart the Vice President’s presidential ambitions.
It all started in January when Charamba featured in a radio interview attacking an anti-Mnangagwa faction,insisting he spoke for the President and not himself.
Although he did not mention anyone by name, Higher and Tertiary Education Minister, Jonathan Moyo, swiftly came out guns blazing, saying Charamba was out of order.
Since then, there have been calls from certain circles for his sacking from the President’s Office.