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March 02, 2011

Mugabe Heads to Asia for Medical Treatment

Officials say Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is heading back to Singapore Thursday for medical treatment.

They did not disclose what treatment the 87-year-old is receiving.

Mugabe was in Singapore last month for a check on his cataract following surgery last year.

On Wednesday,  he threatened to seize foreign-owned businesses, in retaliation for Western sanctions imposed on him and his political allies.

Speaking at a rally in the capital, Harare, Mugabe made special mention of British-controlled banks and companies.  He said there are more than 400 British firms in Zimbabwe, and singled out two British-run banks, Barclays and Standard Chartered.

Mugabe said now is the time to take action against such companies.  He also called for a boycott of foreign products.

Western countries accuse Mugabe of driving Zimbabwe to ruin with years of political repression and economic mismanagement, especially the seizure of white-owned commercial farms.

President Mugabe quipped that Western sanctions have crippled Zimbabwe's economy.