Malawi's president has been out of the country for almost a month, prompting demands for him to explain what critics call his "absence without leave."

As rumors of a health crisis grew, the statehouse this week announced that President Peter Mutharika will return home on Sunday, exactly a month after he departed for the United States.

Mutharika addressed a U.N. gathering of world leaders in late September.

His government has said only that he has been attending to "various government businesses."

Malawi's Parliament wants the president to disclose all expenses incurred on his tour, including those of his entourage.

The government has denied rumors that Mutharika is critically ill. The country's information minister has described the rumors as "baseless, malicious and sickening" and threatened those spreading false rumors with arrest.