President Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's ruler since independence from Britain in 1980, turns 90 on February 21, 2014. REUTERS/Alessandro Di Meo/Pool/Files

Harare - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe returned home Saturday morning from Singapore where he had gone for routine medical check ups, state radio announced.

President Mugabe had travelled to the far East for cataract surgery in his left eye and the state radio said “the procedure was successful”.

The veteran leader, who turned 90 on Friday, has ruled Zimbabwe since it achieved independence from Britain in 1980.

President Mugabe has long been rumoured to be seriously ill and has travelled to Singapore for medical checks several times in the past five years.

A leaked 2008 US diplomatic cable cited then bank governor Gideon Gono as saying Mugabe had prostate cancer, a claim denied by officials.

On Sunday, thousands of people will gather at a stadium in Marondera, a town 75 kilometres (50 miles) east of the capital Harare, to celebrate Mugabe's birthday.