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Mugabe alive and well, says Zimbabwean government

Zimbabwean officials yesterday dismissed reports that President Robert Mugabe had been hospitalised during a trip to Singapore as "hogwash".

Speculation that the 88-year-old leader was gravely ill swirled over the weekend, after opposition media asked why a second cabinet meeting in a week had been cancelled.

Yesterday, veteran state security minister Sydney Sekeramayi said: "It's just the wish of our detractors. The President is alive and well."

Information minister Webster Shamu said: "It's a lot of hogwash... He is well and should be back later today [Tuesday] or tomorrow, which is why the cabinet meeting was pushed to Thursday."

Lower-ranking politicians confirmed a state of confusion and worry in Harare. There has been speculation that the president had been rushed to Singapore after collapsing.

The president, who was last seen in public on 28 March, makes frequent visits to Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong, sometimes for weeks at a time.

The government has acknowledged that he receives medical care – such as treatment for cataracts – on some of those visits.