Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Zimbabwe's Mugabe "well, on holiday": officials

(Reuters) - Zimbabwean officials on Tuesday dismissed reports that President Robert Mugabe was seriously ill in Singapore, saying he was well and on holiday there with his family, and was expected to return home this week.

Mugabe is one of Africa's longest serving leaders and has ruled the former British colony in southern Africa since 1980. He is sharing power with political rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in a fragile coalition formed three years ago.

The 88-year-old president has been the subject of several health scares in recent years, with some reports saying he has prostate cancer, but in February interviews with state media he laughed off suggestions that he was seriously ill.

Two senior officials from Mugabe's ZANU-PF party on Tuesday angrily denied reports by some international media that he was undergoing intensive treatment in a Singapore hospital and was fighting for his life.

The officials said he was on a private holiday to Singapore.

"The president is well and away on a private holiday to help his daughter prepare for post-graduate studies, but we are expecting him home this week," said one of the two officials, who declined to be named.

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