Two Zimbabwean journalists were arrested Friday over a newspaper report that described President Robert Mugabe as “in bad shape” when he flew to Singapore for what officials called a scheduled medical check – up.
Editor of independent newspaper NewsDay Wisdom Mudzungairi and journalist Richard Chidza were released ahead of a court appearance on Saturday.
The front – page story said that Mugabe , 93 , had “sneaked out of the country” this week , and quoted an unnamed source saying “it’s a tricky health situation ” .
The report, headlined “ Mugabe in fresh health scare ”, said that first lady Grace Mugabe had flown to Dubai to organise the charter flight .
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“They have been arrested and charged with undermining and insulting the office of the president ,” said their lawyer Obey Shava before their release .
He said their arrest was “in relation to the paper’ s lead story ”.
Mugabe ’s trip to Singapore, shortly after his lavish 93 rd birthday party, was announced by his press spokesman on Wednesday .
The president is expected to return early next week .
Mugabe ’s health has been subject of increased speculation in recent years , and he regularly flies to Singapore for medical attention .
Despite his advanced age, Mugabe ’s ruling ZANU – PF party last year endorsed him as its candidate for the 2018 general elections .
In recent speeches , he has paused for lengthy periods and mumbled at times .