Zimbabwe's Mugabe Has Prostate Cancer 2008 diplomatic cable said president could die in '3 to 5 years' By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff Posted Sep 5, 2011 7:29 AM CDT 11 comments Comments Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe in a May 20, 2011, file photo. A WikiLeaks cable says that Mugabe has prostate cancer that has spread, and was advised by doctors to step down. (Getty Images) (Newser) – WikiLeaks' latest spill is a 2008 US diplomatic cable that says Robert Mugabe has prostate cancer that's spread and "will cause his death in three to five years," Reuters reports. The 87-year-old longtime Zimbabwe leader was apparently advised at the time to resign the presidency; Mugabe last year denied cancer rumors and his office had no comment on the cable, written by the former US ambassador to Zimbabwe. State media reported over the weekend that Mugabe said elections will be held in early 2012—a full year ahead of schedule, reportedly because aides fear he will be too frail for the rigors of a campaign by 2013.