Thursday, January 14, 2016 4:04 pm
Rumours that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe collapsed — and subsequently died — while on vacation have been dismissed by his spokesman, state media reported on Thursday.
The state-run Herald newspaper cited Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba as saying that it has become a tradition for rumors about Mugabe’s health to surface at the start of the year during his annual leave. Mugabe is currently the world’s oldest president at 92.
“You can doubt that there can be a New Year, but you cannot doubt that there will be a story on the president’s alleged death every January,” Charamba said.
Rumors about Mugabe’s health started swelling Tuesday following the publication of stories on his health on some media sites.
Many people took to social media to express their disgust at the rumors.
Mugabe has been to Singapore on a number of occasions for eye cataract operations, but there are also unconfirmed reports saying that he suffers from prostate cancer.
In the meantime, preparations are underway for his birthday celebrations in the city of Masvingo.
Born in February 1924, Mugabe is Africa’s iconic fighter against colonialism. He led a two-decade revolution to topple the white apartheid regime of Rhodesia, as Zimbabwe was formerly known, and has been at the helm of the government since 1980.