Zimbabwean President Mugabe denied rumours of his physical frailty, making outlandish claims that he had been resurrected from the dead. The 92-year-old took questions from the media when he was at Harare International Airport and was in a cheerful, ebullient mood.
It was thought that Mugabe was en route to East Asia on Friday (2 September) according to flight trackers, but instead arrived in Dubai. This led to rumours that the president had taken ill and gone to Dubai to seek emergency health care.
Zimbabwe's privately-owned newspaper NewsDay carried a report saying that Mugabe was in the Middle East for "medical attention".
There have been denials by aides that the president suffers from prostate cancer although he admits travelling to the Far East for eye treatment.
Rumours multiplied when The Southern Daily website reported that the president has suffered a "medical collapse" and that Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa was in control of the country.
These claims were denied by Mugabe who said: "I had gone on a family matter to Dubai concerning one of my children.
"Yes, I was dead, it's true I was dead. I resurrected as I always do. Once I get back to my country I am real," according to Reuters. Mugabe is believed to be speaking at a youth conference on Saturday (3 September).
At 92, Mugabe is Africa's oldest president, holding the reigns of power since 1980 and has announced that he will run once more for office in 2018. He has rebuffed claims of his failing health, declaring himself "fit as a fiddle". His wife, Grace Mugabe said the president would rule from beyond the grave.
On Friday (2 September), protestors clashed with riot police in Harare. Pictures of Zimbabwean police attacking demonstrators and firing tear gas were posted on social media.
A two-week ban on protests against Mugabe and his government in the capital city has been imposed.