Suggestions Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has been falling asleep in meetings have been denied by his spokesperson, who said the veteran politician has a medical condition forcing him to rest his eyes when exposed to light.
“It has to do with his eyes,” Presidential Spokesperson George Charamba told CapiTalk radio, reported Zimbabwean media outlet the Herald. “In fact, I feel like a failure when there is this reading that the president is sleeping in conferences, no.”
Charamba claims Mugabe’s age, at 93, has left him unable to suffer bright lights. “If you look at his poise, he looks down, avoids direct lighting,” he said. The spokesman compared Mugabe’s situation to that of Nelson Mandela, whom he claims banned camera flashes when he was in a room.
The comments come after several images of Mugabe at recent events appeared to show him sleeping.
Just resting his eyes? © Sebastien Rieusec / AFP