Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has laughed off reports he is gravely ill, joking he had died and resurrected as he returned home to reports he had been temporarily replaced as leader.
Rumours about Mugabe's health had intensified following claims the 92-year-old had sought medical help in Dubai.
An article posted on Zimbabwe's Southern Daily website claims Mugabe had suffered a stroke and even claimed the country's vice-president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, had been installed as the interim leader.
But Africa's oldest leader rejected the reports as he touched down at the capital Harare's main airport with his security team.
Mugabe told reporters he had "gone on a family matter to Dubai concerning one of my children" before adding: "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."
Mugabe's return comes amid renewed violence surrounding both his handling of the economically striken nation and his bid to run again for office in 2018.
Dozens were arrested in a wave of protests in Harare last week as police ignored court sanctions for demonstrations.