Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has urged journalists in the country to stop writing negative stories and should concentrate on positive things like football.

His remarks come following rumours that went viral on social media that he had collapsed while on holiday in the Far East.

According to Zimbabwe state media, Mugabe said reporters should concentrate on “good things” rather than cooking up stories.

The official Sunday Mail quoted Mugabe as saying: “Of course we feel that our journalists should report us better than they have been doing all along.”

He was speaking after a meeting with close ally Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea in Harare on Saturday. Both leaders have been in power in their respective countries for more than 35 years.

State media and Mugabe’s supporters are unhappy with critical reporting from the local private press and foreign media on the Zimbabwe president and his more controversial policies, including the land reform programme and the drive towards company indigenisation.

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