, HARARE, Apr 12 – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe returned home from Singapore on Thursday after his absence fuelled rumours that he was fighting for his life at a hospital in the city-state.
The 88-year-old leader arrived at Harare International Airport on a chartered flight accompanied by his wife Grace and was welcomed by his deputy Joice Mujuru, as well as several government officials and security chiefs.
“The man is fit as a fiddle. Why do we to wish somebody bad, why do we spread rumours, why do we lie about our head of state,” Information Minister Webster Shamu told reporters.
“Do we have to pander to the agenda of imperialists,” he added.
Media had reported that Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980, had been admitted to a hospital in Singapore, where he was receiving treatment for a cancer related illness.
The Zimbabwe Mail news website reported that he was seriously ill and had agreed to hand over power to Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The veteran leader has visited Singapore several times last year for medical reasons.
His health has been the subject of much speculation, especially since WikiLeaks last year released a 2008 US diplomatic cable saying central bank chief Gideon Gono had told then-US ambassador James McGee that Mugabe had prostate cancer and had been advised by doctors he had less than five years to live.