Zimbabwean officials have denied a rumour hovering on the social media that President Robert Mugabe is critically ill, saying the claims are untrue.

On Wednesday rumours went viral on social media indicating that Mugabe has collapsed while on holiday with his family in Singapore.

Speaking in an interview with Herald Newspaper, presidential spokesman George Charamba trashed the the rumour, saying the allegation was designed to make money by attracting more readers to the site.

“You can doubt that there can be a New Year, but you cannot doubt that there will be a story on the president’s alleged death every January,” Charamba said.

Zimbabwe’s ruling party announced this week that it has begun organizing a birthday bash for Mugabe, who turns 92 next month. Such celebrations are usually held under the banner of the 21st February Movement, a youth branch of the ZANU-PF party named after the date of Mugabe’s birthday.

The president’s office has said Mugabe is on a holiday in the Far East, without specifying which country the president is visiting with his family.

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