Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's spokesperson, George Charamba, has laughed off reports that the long-time leader had abandoned the Southern African Developmental Community summit in Swaziland due to ill health.
New Zimbabwe reported on Wednesday that the 92-year-old veteran leader's health had deteriorated, forcing him to abandon the summit.
A government official in Harare was quoted as saying that Mugabe was rushed to Singapore for treatment for an illness that was connected to his long-term battle with prostate cancer.
"He came back today because of health issues. It has to do with prostate cancer and is due to fly out early on Wednesday to Dubai," the source was quoted as saying.
But when contacted for comment by News24, Mugabe's spokesperson laughed off the reports, saying that he would only comment on actual news stories.
"My laughter should be enough to answer these reports. Just because it is reported, it does not make them true and I have no further comment on these stories," Charamba said.
He went on to criticise the use of the word "abandoned" in the report, questioning whether the reporter understood the meaning of the word.
Mugabe has had a much publicised battle with prostate cancer and had had to travel regularly to the far east for treatment, although his handlers claim the trips were just for eye surgery.