Robert Mugabe 'Dying' Rumours Denied By Zimbabwe Official (PICTURES)

10/04/2012 11:00 BST | Updated 10/04/2012 13:51 BST

Rumours that Robert Mugabe is "close to death" after being rushed to a hospital in Singapore have been denied by a Zimbabwean government official.

"It's a lot of hogwash," Information Minister Webster Shamu told AFP, saying that they would have issued a statement if the leader was on his deathbed.

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:

Mugabe Quotes