Director-General in the President’s Office Mr Isaac Moyo who was the point man in liaisons between the State and the former First Family, said the former President died around 4am at Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore despite having briefly shown signs of improvement earlier in the week.
Mugabe spent five months receiving treatment in Singapore.
The State materially supported Mugabe and his family’s upkeep during the period.
In an hour-long interview with Sunday News, he described intricate details of his time with the Mugabes, Mr Moyo gave details of how he had learnt of the devastating news of Mugabe’s demise in the wee hours of Friday after having communicated daily with Mrs Mugabe last week.
“Last Saturday, I got a call from Amai Mugabe and she said that the former President had been admitted to hospital. We again spoke on Sunday and she said there was not much change. We spoke earlier in the week and she said that his condition had improved. However, on Wednesday night, she said there had been a significant deterioration in his condition.
“That day, she spoke in an agonised voice and I did the best I could to comfort her. I spoke to her again on Thursday, in the morning and in the evening and she said the situation was really bad. When I woke up at around 4am on Friday morning, I saw a missed WhatsApp call from the former First Lady and I immediately sensed that something was wrong. Ever since we had communicated, she had not called around that time.
“Upon returning the call, she conveyed the sad news that the former President had passed on. She broke down and it was painful hearing her voice from the other side of the phone,” he said.
Amai Mugabe had told her that Mugabe passed on “between two to three minutes” after the missed call.
Mr Moyo said soon after speaking to the former First Lady, he conveyed the message to President Mnangagwa, who informed him that he would call Amai Mugabe to convey his condolences.
“At that point, I needed to advise the President and I called him just after 4am. Fortunately, the President is the type of person who picks up his phone, unlike others whom when you call at night you are lucky to get answered. He picked up his phone from Cape Town and I broke the news to him. After that, the President then also called Mai Mugabe to say that he had heard the news and to convey his condolences.”
“The former President hoped he was going to come back home and that he wished to see the former President upon his return. We had told him that the President looked forward to seeing him upon his return and he had also expressed similar sentiments that he would be delighted to meet the President.
And at that time, we were told that the last date of his medical engagements was the 17th of October and that soon after he would return home. A week after our return, I then got a call from Mrs Mugabe and she said that the treatment regime that the former President was having would no longer be extended to October, it would end in September instead and because of that, they were now scheduled to come back home at the end of September.”
DG Moyo said since last year, he had developed a cordial relationship with the Mugabes, characterised by frank engagements with the couple who freely opened up to him on their concerns.