Robert Mugabe,the Zimbabwean president, arrived at the capital's main airport from abroad on Saturday, following intense rumours that he was gravely ill and had sought medical help in Dubai.
Mr Mugabe, 92 and Africa's oldest leader, looked jovial as he disembarked in the company of security aides.
"I had gone on a family matter to Dubai concerning one of my children," he told reporters in the local Shona language, without giving details.
"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," Mr Mugabe added tongue-in-cheek in English, referring to speculation on some online news websites that he had succumbed to illness.
Mr Mugabe's whereabouts have been unclear he left a regional summit early on Tuesday. Flight data showed his plane went to Dubai after the original flight path indicated a course toward Asia. He has received treatment in Singapore in the past.
His spokesman had denied reports that the veteran strongman, thetarget of near-daily protests in recent weeks, was ill.
Reports that Mr Mugabe's health is declining have become common but he has often referred to himself as "fit as a fiddle".
His absence had raised the level of uncertainly in this southern African country already in economic and political turmoil. Frustration has been rising in Zimbabwe over a plummeting economy and allegations of government corruption.
Zimbabwe is struggling to pay salaries to soldiers, police and other public workers, adding to political tensions including within his ruling ZANU-PF party.
Police on Thursday banned protests in the capital for two weeks, on the eve of a demonstration planned by a newly formed coalition of opposition groups.
Mr Mugabe rejects accusations by his political opponents that he has brought one of Africa's most promising economies to its knees since coming to power at independence from Britain in 1980.
He has said he would run again in elections in 2018. Recently, his wife, Grace, said Mr Mugabe would rule from the grave.