President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe on Saturday while responding to rumors that he was ill said he resurrected from the dead.
“Yes, I was dead. It’s true I was dead. I resurrected as I always do once I get back to my country. I am real again.”
His comments came after an online news site reported he had died mid-air on his trip to Dubai.
The health of the 92-Year old President has been increasingly under the spotlight in recent years, particularly after he fell down a staircase after addressing supporters last year.
Mugabe denied been ill and vowed to stand for reelection in 2018. The recent weeks have seen a surge of demonstrations against his rule, which stretches back to Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980.
Zimbabwe police announced on Thursday a two-week ban on protests in the capital Harare, after a string of violent demonstrations in recent weeks calling on Mugabe to step down.
In a speech later Saturday Mugabe said his government would not allow violent demonstrations by opposition political parties against his rule.
“We can’t allow them to continue on these violent demonstrations unimpeded. No, enough is enough,” Mugabe said in an hour-long speech to the youth league of his ruling ZANU-PF party.
“You realise the opposition parties are in a destabilisation mode, aiming to make our country ungovernable. They are pursuing their selfish agenda that targets the undemocratic removal of an elected government from office.”
“Our enemies use money and opposition parties to provoke internal instability and conflicts.”
Zimbabwe has suffered an economic crisis since the start of the century, with 90 percent of the population not in formal employment.
The cash-strapped government has been slow to pay the salaries of public sector workers while banks are running out of cash.