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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Mugabe NOT In a Coma, NOT Rushed to Hospital

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Thu, 29 Nov 2018 11:15:56 Z)

Has Robert Mugabe, the former president of Zimbabwe, fallen into a coma and has he been rushed to hospital? No, there hasn't been any official announcement about this, the story seems to have been made up by a website that is known for publishing death hoaxes and other untrue stories. It is not real.

The story originated from an article published by The African Daily on November 28, 2018 titled "Breaking News:Mugabe in a Coma, rushed to Hospital - The African Daily" (archived here) which opened:

Mugabe was recently paralyzed and could not walk.Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe for 30 years.

Family members said they will talk more about it when Mugabe is in good condition.Mugabe is currently hospitalized in Singapore.

Screenshot of http://afrikan-daily.com/breaking-newsmugabe-in-a-coma-rushed-to-hospital/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Breaking News:Mugabe in a Coma, rushed to Hospital - The African Daily

Spread the love Harare-Former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe has been rushed to hospital after having a breathing problem,family confirms. Mugabe was recently paralyzed and could not walk.Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe for 30 years. Family members said [...]

While it is true that Mugabe is in ill health, as reported by the BBC, there has been no word of him falling into a coma:

Ex-Zimbabwe President Mugabe 'can't walk'

Zimbabwe's former President Mugabe, 94, is unable to walk because of ill health, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said. Mr Mugabe has been in Singapore for treatment for an undisclosed illness for the past two months, he added. The former president also made several medical trips there towards the end of his time in power.

The site that posted the "news" about the coma situation has a history of spreading false news, especially about politicians in ill healt. On November 17, 2018 it falsely claimed the president of Gabon had died (archived here):

Breaking News:Gabon President Ali Bongo dies - The African Daily

IBREVILLE -Gabon President Ali Bongo has died after getting a stroke last month. Gabon's top court had ruled that the vice president will chair the cabinet in the absence of President Ali Bongo, who had remained in hospital in Saudi Arabia.

However only hours ago several news outlets reported that Bongo was still in Morocco undergoing medical treatment:

Gabon's ailing leader Ali Bongo to continue treatment in Morocco [The Morning Call] | Africanews

Gabon's president Ali Bongo is now believed to be in Morocco. According to a facebook post from his wife Sylvia, Bongo will continue treatment in Rabat to continue his recovery. The 59 year old leader was rushed to hospital in Riyadh on October 24 after falling ill at an economic forum.

We wrote about afrikan-daily.com before, here is another example of fake news being published by the site:

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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