Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe returns amid rumors of health scare

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe returns amid rumors of health scare.  HARARE, Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe returned to his country Saturday defying rumors he had suffered a stroke or died while on a flight from Africa to Singapore after his plane abruptly landed in Dubai.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is introduced before addressing the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 2014. Mugabe surfaced at the Harare airport Saturday morning, defying rumors of a stroke. File photo by Monika Graff/UPI | License Photo

Media reports surfaced that Mugabe, 92, had suffered a debilitating health emergency and the country’s vice president had temporarily been sworn in as interim president. Mugabe laughed off those concerns after landing in Harare around 8 a.m. local time.

“I went to sort out things with my child in Dubai,” he told reporters at Harare International Airport, adding, “Yes, I was dead, it’s true I was dead. I resurrected as I always do once in get back to my country. I am real again.”

Mugabe’s government has recently cracked down on large protests over the country’s economic stagnation, calls for election reform and his promise to run for re-election in 2018.

Dozens of protesters were arrested by police last week despite court orders sanctioning the protests.

Mugabe had been headed from a conference in Swaziland to Singapore, where he receives regular health treatment when his plane made a sharp turn north toward the Persian Gulf and touched down in the United Arab Emirates. He spent three days there in seclusion before returning to Zimbabwe on Saturday.

By Eric DuVall