Mugabe not sleeping through meetings, just ‘resting his eyes’ – spokesperson

Mugabe not sleeping through meetings, just ‘resting his eyes’ – spokesperson
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.

Mugabe’s eyes are being treated in Singapore, according to Charamba, claiming it was normal for ‘First World’ leaders to seek assistance there. The decision was made not by the resident but by his physician – who Charamba said was Zimbabwean and “very, very, very black.”

Mugabe, who is seeking reelection next year, last week claimed Zimbabwe was not a “fragile state” and was second only to South Africa on the continent.

READ MORE: ‘We’re not fragile like US, which went on its knees to China’ – Zimbabwe president Mugabe

“I can call America fragile, they went on their knees to China,” he added.