George Charamba was quoted by the state-owned Herald newspaper as saying that President Mugabe travels regularly to Singapore to receive specialised treatment for an eye condition.
“I feel like a failure when there is this reading that the President is sleeping in conferences. No. 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.”
The spokesman made a comparison with Nelson Mandela whose eyes were sensitive to flash photography, saying:
“In the case of Mandela, if you remember, you were not allowed to even use flashes whenever he was in the room. This is what happens at 93 and Mandela, I do not think lived as long as the president.”