Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday exposed his frailty in New York City where he was shown by international news channels sleeping most of the time when President Donald Trump was giving his first address to world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly.
Mugabe travelled to New York with a 70-member delegation, including his family, inviting a backlash from his critics in Zimbabwe, who accused him of misusing taxpayers' money at a time when Zimbabwe's economy was floundering and showing little signs of recovery. Every member of the 93 year-old leader's entourage was reportedly being paid $1 500 per day in stipends while the majority of the southern African country's citizens were reportedly surviving on less than one dollar per day.
Jessie Majome, a vocal legislator from Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party led by Morgan Tsvangirai criticised Mugabe for taking a nap at such an important world gathering.
"Our constitution's foreign policy objectives are anchored on the interests of Zimbabwe; the President's sleeping on the biggest and most important stage of the whole world is the opposite of that. It embarrasses us and puts the country into disrepute. How he can sleep through a nuclear war speech is astounding. To travel so far with so many delegates at such a cost only to sleep so soundly is disconcerting. Surely him and his team must candidly introspect about this worsening state of affairs," said Majome.
Health condition kept a secret
Mugabe's spokesperson George Charamba told the Zimbabwean state-controlled Herald newspaper in May that his boss would not be sleeping but would be avoiding lights from cameras as he had a problem with one of his eyes.
In his first speech at the UN, Trump vowed to "totally destroy" North Korea if it threatened the United States or its allies.
"If the righteous many don't confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph," said the US president who called Iran a "rogue nation" and further asserted that the United States was "prepared to take further action" on Venezuela.
French President Emmanuel Macron, however, countered Trump's remarks in his own address, saying the nuclear deal with Iran was "essential for peace" and that his country would "not close any door to dialogue" with North Korea.