Zimbabwe Vice-President Kembo Mohadi has fended off accusations of sexual impropriety in a press briefing.
He said he was a victim of hacking and voice cloning after an online newspaper published lurid phone call recordings with several women allegedly including a subordinate.
Barely audible and behind a face mask, the 71-year-old told reporters that the recordings were concocted and that he was innocent of the allegations.
“I am innocent and a victim of political machinations being peddled through hacking and voice cloning.”
He added that the allegations were not only false but choreographed to soil his image as a national leader.
The government spokesman shared a video of Mr Mohadi’s statement.
In a series of phone calls published by local media, a man is heard arranging for sex including in his government office and a hotel.
The Women’s Coalition, a rights group, has petitioned the state Zimbabwe Gender Commission to investigate possible illicit relations with subordinates and sexual harassment within the office of the vice-president.
The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum voiced concern about the allegations and a culture of abuse of office and power by a public official for sexual advantage.
The main opposition called for his resignation.
Mr Mohadi was appointed one of two vice-presidents in 2017 following the ousting of former leader Robert Mugabe.