Mugabe’s failing vision and memory loss shock officials

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Zimbabwe’s information minister has unwittingly disclosed that his boss Robert Mugabe’s vision is so poor that he cannot read newspapers. Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu shocked state media editors Tuesday when he told them that Mugabe has on several occasions failed to read the paper as its font size was too tiny.

from our correspondent in Harare

He likened it to the size of ants and tasked Ndlovu to convey the message to editors.

On Tuesday Ndlovu took the Mugabe’s message to the editors.
“It was really shocking”, said an editor who attended the briefing.
“We could not believe it when the minister said Mugabe had told him to ask us to increase the size of the font. We all looked at each other amazed at what he had just said. We could not hold ourselves and openly giggled about it,”.

Pikirayi Deketeke, the Herald editor suggested to Ndlovu that perhaps he did not understand what Mugabe was referring to. Deketeke said Mugabe may have been referring to adverts by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), which were in even smaller print.

But Ndlovu rejected Deketeke’s construction, telling him: “No, the President clearly said he could not read stories in the Herald. Once when he wanted to read a story on page two about MDC and Zanu PF he failed. He called me and said ‘Sikhanyiso what is this?'”

Deketeke told Ndlovu it was unfortunate that there was nothing the editors could do about the font size, as it was a worldwide standard and could not be changed.

Mugabe’s state of health is a closely guarded secret, but the disclosure by Ndlovu has given a hint that the 84-year-old leader’s health may be failing.

Last Wednesday, Mugabe flew to Singapore for prostate cancer check up and arrived in Harare hours just before he was scheduled to launch his June 27 presidential election run-off campaign.

It is believed he visited doctors to be “boosted” for the gruelling run-off campaign against MDC’s Morgan Tsvangirai, who is four decades his junior.

At the lunch, as has been the norm for months now, Mugabe barely read
his prepared speech in English. He addressed the crowed in his native Shona despite the presence of foreign ambassadors.

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