A fourth visit by Robert Mugabe to Singapore allegedly to see his sick wife Grace Mugabe has sparked intense speculation that it is in fact the 87 year old dictator who was taken ill and not his wife as claimed.

One report on The Zimbabwe Mail website is quoting a senior intelligence official speaking at the funeral of Mernard Muzariri, the Deputy-Director General in the CIO, who said Mugabe collapsed four times at his mansion in Borrowdale, Harare since his return from Zambia where he had attended the SADC Troika Summit.

“We can also reveal that at some point the President passed out and his family members, including his wife wept uncontrollably as they feared for the worse. His medical team is said to have played a very crucial role in resuscitating the 87 year old,” the report on the website went on.

The official line is that the First Lady Grace Mugabe “slipped and fell in the bathroom at (the Mugabes’) Borrowdale house and was said to have suffered a dislocated hip.” George Charamba, Mugabe’s spokesman, is said to have deliberately leaked the information to cover up for Mugabe’s ailing health.

At the recent SADC Troika summit in Zambia, Mugabe needed the use of a golf cart to travel to and from his hotel room. He was accompanied on the trip by a team of some 60 security and medical aides. Those who managed to get close to Mugabe said his legs were swollen, suggesting heart or blood pressure problems.