'Fit as a fiddle' Mugabe returns to Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe arrived back home early on Thursday, ending speculation over his health.

After a week of speculation over his health, his delayed return from what officials said was a private visit to Singapore fuelled rumours he was unwell. However, he appeared fit as he walked down the stairs of a chartered plane, hand in hand with his wife Grace.

He was met at the Harare International Airport by his deputy Joice Mujuru and other senior officials. He made no comment to journalists, who had camped out in drizzle at the airport.

"As you can see, the man is as fit as a fiddle," Information Minister Webster Shamu told reporters.

Mugabe was expected to chair a Cabinet meeting early on Thursday and has further "official engagements late in the day", an official told the Mail & Guardian.

Speculation over Mugabe's health grew after a report carried by an Australian news website, claiming Mugabe was on his deathbed in Singapore, went viral as many news organisations around the world carried the report. However, Mugabe's officials brushed off the reports, only the latest in frequent rumours over his health.

His delayed return had sparked an online waiting vigil, with some on Twitter using live flight-tracking websites to follow the chartered flight on its way to Harare.

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