Zimbabwe leader Mugabe back from Singapore
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe returned home from Singapore early Thursday morning amid rumours about his failing health.
The 88 year-old leader looked fit as he disembarked from a white chartered plane at 7am but did not address journalists waiting for him at the airport.
He was accompanied by his wife Grace and was received by Vice President Joice Mujuru.
Several other ministers from his Zanu-PF party were also at the Harare International Airport to welcome him.
President Mugabe is expected to chair a Cabinet meeting later Thursday after he postponed two previous sessions.
He left the country on March 31 and his aides said he had gone to the Asian country to prepare for his daughter Bona’s further studies.
But his long absence sparked speculation that he was seeking treatment for prostate cancer and eye problems.
Announcing his return on Thursday morning, state radio said he was away for the Easter holidays with his family.
The rumours about his health reached fever pitch at the weekend when a United Kingdom based Zimbabwean website claimed he was fighting for his life at a hospital in Singapore.
He had been scheduled to return on Wednesday and the delay was not explained.
Senior officials from his Zanu-PF party dismissed reports that President Mugabe was on his death bed as ‘hogwash.”
The Zimbabwean leader has in the past laughed off international media reports about his ill health.
In interviews on state radio to mark his 88th birthday in February, the octogenarian compared himself to Jesus Christ saying he had died and resurrected many times.
“I have died many times. I have actually beaten Jesus Christ because he only died once,” he said.
He said he expected to live longer because he led a healthy lifestyle characterised by abstinence from alcohol and tobacco as well as having a balanced diet and regular exercise.
However, leaked United States diplomatic cables last year quoted the governor of Zimbabwe’s Central Bank Gideon Gono saying President Mugabe suffered from advanced prostate cancer.
The cable written by former US ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGee said the long time ruler had been given less than five years to live.
Last year, President Mugabe made more than eight trips to Singapore where he was reportedly undergoing cancer treatment.