Rumours that Robert Mugabe is "close to death" after being rushed to a hospital in Singapore have been denied by a Zimbabwean government official.
Speculation over the Zimbabwean president's ailing health have been gathering pace after sources close to the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu) PF told the Zimbabwe Mail that Mugabe was undergoing intensive treatment surrounded by his family.
Mugabe is said to be in Singapore whilst his daughter Bona enrols for a postgraduate course at Singapore University.
However as registration does not begin until September, many have questioned his trip to the country, for an low profile event for which it is unusual for him to appear in person.
The postponement of the cabinet's sitting from Tuesday to Thursday has added to speculation that Mugabe is suffering from poor health.
However a senior government aide told The Zimbabwe Mail: "The president is on his Easter holidays, like everyone else."
A WikiLeaks cable from 2008, released last year, that claimed that the Zimbabwean leader was suffering from prostate cancer and had less than five years to live.
However on his 88th birthday Mugabe dismissed persistent rumours that he is dying of cancer by comparing himself to Jesus Christ
"I have died many times - that's where I have beaten Christ. Christ died once and resurrected once."
Mugabe has been head of the African state for 32 years during which he has been condemned for massive human rights abuses.
Hoping to hold re-elections before 2013, there are rumours that Mugabe's ailing health is forcing Africa's oldest leader to rush the voting through.
Mugabe is reportedly training up his defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose reputation as a former brutal intelligence commanded earned him the nickname of "The Crocodile.
In a secret "gentlemen's agreement", Mnangagwa will succeed Mugabe, and take over his leadership of the Zanu PF party following the election, The Daily Telegraph reports.
Take a look at some of the Zimbabwe's leader most infamous quotes:
"I am still the Hitler of the time," Mugabe once infamously boasted. "This Hitler has only one objective: justice for his people, sovereignty for his people, recognition of the independence of his people and their rights over their resources. If that is Hitler, then let me be Hitler tenfold. Ten times, that is what we stand for."
On gay rights, Mugabe once noted, "It is not worthy of discussion. Those that engage in such acts are insane. We cannot tolerate this, otherwise the dead will rise against us."
On the U.K. approach to his land reforms, Mugabe believed former Prime Minister Tony Blair's administration was using "gangster tactics," saying each time he passed through London there were people trailing him. "They are even using gay gangsters on us," he added.
After slamming former U.S. President George W. Bush as a "dead horse" at a burial ceremony for a ruling party official, Mugabe added, "The inclusive government does not include Mr Bush and his administration. It doesn't even know him. It has no relationship with him, so let him keep his comments, they are undesired, irrelevant, quite stupid and foolish."
"Who said the British and the Americans should rule over others? That's why we say down with you," Mugabe noted at a gathering of his party's youth wing. "We have not invited these bloody whites. They want to poke their nose into our own affairs. Refuse that...Zimbabwe, sanctions or no sanctions, Zimbabwe remains ours."
Addressing local business people in Bulawayo, Mugabe insisted he would not step aside for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which beat his Zanu-PF party in the parliamentary and first-round presidential poll on March 29, 2008. "Only God, who appointed me, will remove me -- not the MDC, not the British. Only God will remove me!"
"It doesn't matter what happens, Zimbabwe is my country," the veteran leader told delegates at the end of his Zanu-PF party's 10th annual conference.
"The whites can be citizens in our country, or residents -- but not our cousins. They are the greatest racists in the world. Now, the British are saying that they are squatting on white man's land. Where is black man's land in Europe? Zimbabwe is a black man's land, and a black man will determine who gets it."
"I find it extremely outrageous and repugnant to my human conscience that such immoral and repulsive organizations, like those of homosexuals, who offend both against the law of nature and the morals of religious beliefs espoused by our society, should have any advocates in our midst and elsewhere in the world," he is quoted as saying in 1995.