President Robert Mugabe is in good health and his eyesight is not deteriorating, Media, Information and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo said yesterday.
Moyo told Southern Eye after a tour of his ministry’s stand at the ongoing Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) that reports alleging Mugabe was having a problem with his right eye were malicious.
A picture of Mugabe when he delivered his Independence Day Speech at the National Sports Stadium in Harare last Friday triggered fresh speculation about his health on social networks.
The 90-year-old kept removing his glasses during the speech amid speculation the right eye was troubling him.
But Moyo said the fears were unfounded and accused journalists of trying to use every opportunity to denigrate Mugabe.
“We cannot clarify something which we did not say or see. I think on the day in question it was obvious that the president was very keen to communicate and as we have witnessed in the past, he does so unscripted,” he said.
“The stuff that we saw was about his interaction with his script and also a focus on his eye glasses.
“I almost did the same when I was talking to you here as I felt like removing my glasses and that’s a function of light.
“If anyone says he failed to read anything, they would be lying because it was on television.
“What we saw was a president who was speaking off the cuff and then who also had a script and would occasionally look at the script and remove his glasses.
“If I was to write a story myself, what I found remarkable was that on a number of occasions he removed his glasses and read the script,” Moyo added. “Did that not happen? If someone is able to read without glasses you will have to be malicious to interpret that as a sign he has problem with his eyesight.”
The minister said it was not a secret that Mugabe had been going to the Far East for an eye check-up.
He said it was mischievous for the media to report about the Zanu PF leader’s eye problems as something new and newsworthy.
“It has always been said from time to time that he is going for his eye check-up and he has not hidden his age,” Moyo said.
“If we are honest people, we should be able to say God has blessed the president with remarkable talents and gifts.
“A lot of young people who are writing these things have probably more pressing health problems than him.”
Mugabe who last year frequented Singapore for medical treatment has in the past boasted that he is healthy.
Tomorrow he will officially open the 55th edition of the ZITF after Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso pulled out at the last minute.
“He (Mugabe) would on Friday be displaying this amazing talent of the mind, vision and clarity of speech,” Moyo said.
“The president is officially the guest of honour and will be opening the ZITF. The president never misses any commitment.
“We have never heard that the president failed to address the nation on Independence Day or ZITF on account of some health challenge.
“It has never happened.”
Watch Jonathan Moyo speak on Presdident Mugabe’s health in the video below: