Africa

Zimbabwe's Mugabe off to Singapore for medical checkup

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace attend his 93rd Birthday celebrations in Matopos on the outskirts of Bulawayo, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. Mugabe is defying calls to resign after nearly four decades in power, he has declared will run for office again in 2018 elections. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace attend his 93rd Birthday celebrations in Matopos on the outskirts of Bulawayo, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. Mugabe is defying calls to resign after nearly four decades in power, he has declared will run for office again in 2018 elections. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)  (The Associated Press)

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has left for Singapore for a medical checkup just days after celebrating his 93rd birthday.

Spokesman George Charamba told state media on Thursday that the checkup is a scheduled one and that Mugabe is expected to return early next week. The president has received treatment in Singapore in the past.

Mugabe is the world's oldest head of state. Concerns have been growing as he shows signs of slowing down.

The president insists he will run again in elections next year and recently declared that most Zimbabweans think nobody can replace him. He has not indicated a successor, and he has said he would like to live until he's 100 and rule for life.

The uncertainty adds to stress in this once-prosperous country whose economy has collapsed.