A video showing Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe appearing to snooze during a press conference with Japanese premier Shinzo Abe has caused a major stir. Information Minister Christopher Mushowe dismissed the video saying “President [was] nodding his head,” and warned mainstream media against reproducing the video. Prof Jonathan Moyo, Minister of Higher Education wrote on Twitter that Mugabe was in “a natural contemplative disposition!”
The Reuters news agency video, which shows Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe appearing to snooze and struggling to stay on feet during a press conference with Japanese premier Shinzo Abe has caused a major stir.
A statement signed by Information Minister Christopher Mushowe reportedly dismissed the allegations that Mugabe was sleeping but rather, the “President [was] nodding his head in response to the message being delivered by the Japanese Prime Minister”. Prof Jonathan Moyo, Minister of Higher Education wrote on Twitter that Mugabe was in “a natural contemplative disposition!”
Info Minister Mushohwe: "Mugabe was nodding, not sleeping."
Prof Moyo: Mugabe was in "a natural contemplative disposition"#SpinFail
— Zim Media Review (@ZimMediaReview) April 2, 2016
The “malicious video story”, and pictures of the incident, which have been circulating on social media have been dismissed as propaganda to discredit Mugabe. Mainstream media houses and journalists have been warned against reproducing, “This type of gutter journalism resides on the social media platforms,” Voice of America reported.
Comedians in Zimbabwe have however latched on to the snoozing/nodding incident, using satire to probe at the issue of sleeping during work hours.
Social media has been awash with humorous comments on the incident, with users giving advice that it’s probably the right time for the President to consider retirement.
Critics and opposition groups have in recent times called for Mugabe to retire, citing his advanced age as a hindrance to fulfilling his presidential duties.
Some of Mugabe’s previous gaffes
While President Mugabe has often insisted he is “as fit as a fiddle”, a number of gaffes in recent months seem to prove otherwise.
- In September last year, President Mugabe shocked the world after he read the wrong speech while officially opening the Third Session of the Eighth Parliament.
- The wrong speech gaffe was followed by a video of Mugabe stumbling and struggling to climb onto a one-step stage in New Delhi.
- The infamous Mugabe fall, which went viral on social media, in which the 92 year-old dramatically tumbled on the red carpet at the Harare International Airport in January on arrival from the African Union (AU) summit.
Video credit: Alpha Media Live
Source: Voice of America