In what has come an annual chorus reports recently surfaced online from a dubious website, ZimEye that President Robert Mugabe had taken ill and died while in the Far East. Presidential spokesperson and permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Mr George Charamba said that one could doubt that there was a New Year, but you can not doubt that there will be rumours of the President’s death.
Sadly, what are perceived to be more credible sources picked up the falsehoods and ran with it, only to retract their articles not long there after. And the wild fire started from there, everyone citing the DailyStar and none bothering to verify.
Zimbabwean’s on twitter reacted to the annual news cycle that runs every year the President goes on holiday:
Oh no those Mugabe death stories hve started again.Daily Star in UK reports he had a heart attack on holiday.Yawn.Wake me up when its over.?
— Ray Ndlovu (@fingerray) January 13, 2016
President Mugabe's long life is giving other people sleepless nights.The report him dead every January?.Even DEATH tiptoes around him?ALUTA!
— Ibutho_leSizwe (@JustNAfrican) January 13, 2016
4 a couple of years now Mugabe has been declared dead in January & he always resurrects on time 4 his b-day celebrations.#2016isNoDifferent.
— Malvin musvipo (@Malvinmusvipo) January 13, 2016
Charamba however stated that “Government is exploring mechanisms for dealing with such extra territorial mischief. These websites ride on carriers, don’t they?” This could point to Government getting internet service providers like Econet to block the access to such websites, but this won’t do anything for international traffic to the site.
The sad thing about this rumour is that it plays out every year to the extent that Zimbabweans are no longer moved as much as they used to be. From having cancer laying on his death bed even a cat would even him with the amount of times that he has ‘died’.
We’re not saying he is immune to death, it’s the unfounded rumours that bring fear among the people that we totally against.
Main Image Credit: TheGuardian.com