I do not photoshop Mugabe - official photographer

Harare - President Robert Mugabe's official photographer has said that he does not photoshop the 91-year-old leader.

Presidential photographer Joseph Nyadzayo told the official Sunday Mail newspaper that Mugabe "does not care how you project him".

"You decide on your own how you want to frame it and how you want to project him. He really doesn't care how you project him. No photoshopping," Nyadazayo said in a transcript of an interview with deputy editor Munyaradzi Huni.

Mugabe generally looks remarkably well on TV or at official public engagements, a fact he and family members put down to his fondness for regular exercise and a carefully-watched diet.

But members of his entourage appear keen to control the way he is portrayed, as was seen when he slipped on the red carpet at Harare International Airport in February 2015.

Security officers were reported to have tried to force photographers to delete pictures of the now infamous trip. But images survived, provoking a wave of internet memes.

The presidential photographer said that unlike other often younger African leaders, Mugabe did not try to control the final photographic image that was presented to the public.

"Once you take the picture you don't try to make him look younger or more handsome. Whereas with other leaders you can see that [there] have been touch-ups on the photograph especially for billboards," Nyadzayo said, according to the Sunday Mail's transcript of his interview.

Mugabe has been in power in Zimbabwe since independence in 1980.

Two months after the #MugabeFalls debacle, an amusing photo of Mugabe surfaced from South Africa, in which he appeared to be wearing a wig and earrings. The picture was not photoshopped: in fact, Mugabe was standing right in front of a woman.

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