Zimbabwean officials dismissed a South African newspaper report that President Robert Mugabe was ill on Wednesday as rubbish and the product of “sick and evil minds”.

The Times newspaper had reported that Mugabe, 85, was taken to a Dubai hospital after falling ill and was undergoing specialist treatment.

“The president is not sick but was away on holiday. He returned home yesterday, and those reports are a load of rubbish that we get from sick and evil minds,” said one official.


Speculation regularly surfaces over the health of Mugabe. He has been in power since independence in 1980 and in February formed a unity government with old rival Morgan Tsvangirai to try to end political crisis and economic decline.

Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba told Reuters: “He is fit, and has not been to any hospital. He is being made ill by newspapers and not his God. We are being forced to dignify these reports by commenting on them.”

South African President Jacob Zuma is expected to visit Zimbabwe on Thursday to discuss the progress of the unity government


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