By Godfrey Tembo.
Harare, Zimbabwe (News of the South)-President Mugabe’s peculiar eye problem at 93 requires that he keep his head down to avoid light leading to people thinking he is now in the habit of sleeping at functions, his spokesperson George Charamba has said.
Speaking to a local radio station Charamba, who is also the government spokesperson, said there is nothing amiss about the President who would be merely avoiding direct contact with light.
“I have felt very, very pained. In fact, I feel like a failure when there is this reading that the President is sleeping in conferences, no,” he said.
“At 93, there is something that happens to the eyes and the President cannot suffer bright lights. If you look at his poise, he looks down, avoids direct lighting.
“In the case of Mandela, if you remember, you were not allowed to even use flashes whenever he was in the room. That is what happens at 93 and Mandela, I do not think lived as long as the President did. Let us disabuse ourselves.”
Charamba further dismissed talk of Mugabe shunning local health practitioners in favour of foreign institutions in Singapore.
“As a matter of fact, and let this be known to all Zimbabweans — the physician of the President is not only Zimbabwean, he is actually black.
“For security reasons, I will not tell you the real name. He is very Zimbabwean. He is very, very, very black.”
Speaking during the radio debate on Wednesday, Charamba denied his boss shunned the local health system, claiming that it was on the advice of his local doctor that Mugabe sought specialised attention for his eyes in Singapore.
“The President goes to Singapore for a very specific problem which has to do with the level of sophistication of medical skills that we have developed”
“It has to do with his eyes.”
He continued; “For the rest of his body, the President gets attended to here’
“It is just that particular area and even then, it was not his decision, it was the decision of opticians who suggested that with the state of his age, with the state of the problem he was having visually, it was important that he gets advanced attention which is obtainable in Singapore.”
“By the way, that (Singapore) is an international health dispensing institution. You meet First World leaders there who are coming for medical assistance in Singapore.
“So, really, there is nothing untoward in the President of Zimbabwe, who has an African Zimbabwean physician, going abroad for specialised treatment.
“That does not take away the fact that we have an excellent medical services provision in this country. We have a number of specialised doctors, who are manning our institutions.’ he said.
President Mugabe has repeatedly courted controversy for his ever-increasing number of trips out of the country for medical checks which some critics have said are increasing pressure on the state coffers which are dry.
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