Robert Mugabe

Journalists Forced To Delete Photos of Robert Mugabe Falling Down Steps

Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe, 90, returned home from Ethiopia on Wednesday and, while addressing supporters at the airport, fell down some steps from the podium. Cameras immediately clicked and flashes naturally flashed.

According to witnesses, who insist on anonymity for security reasons, the Zimbabwe dictator was leaving the podium at the airport Wednesday and appeared to stumble and then toppled down a few steps.

The Business Insider reports Mugabe’s aides were quick to help him up and they then escorted him to his waiting limousine, in which he then sped away from the airport.

A witness said, “He addressed supporters who welcomed him… He missed a step as he walked down from the podium and immediately fell down.”

Immediately after the fall, however, photojournalists who captured the event on camera were forced to delete their photos by security personnel. However, despite their efforts, it seems some photos have come to light of the incident.

According to the Twitter feed of his Zanu-PF party, Mugabe didn’t actually fall, however, but was merely “doing a bounce like the kids do,” among other messages, accusing journalists of using Photoshop on images.

The reason for Mugabe’s trip to Ethiopia was the fact he has been elected chair of the 54-nation African Union. He attended a summit of African leaders on January 30 in Addis Adaba, and only returned to Zimbabwe on Wednesday. Reportedly, the role of the AU chairman is mostly ceremonial.

Robert Mugabe celebrates his 91st birthday on February 21 and insists that he is well. In fact he has said he is “fit as two fiddles.” Reportedly, he travels on an annual basis each January to Asia and visits specialists for check ups on his eyes in Singapore.

The European Union imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe back in 2002 over alleged abuses relating to the national elections, and this included banning travel to Europe as well as freezing assets of various Zimbabwean officials and business representatives. News24 notes that while some restrictions have gradually been lifted over the years to encourage reform in Zimbabwe, Mugabe and his wife, Grace, are still on the EU blacklist.

However, now that Robert Mugabe has been made chair of the African Union, according to the Guardian, the EU has decided to ease the travel ban on the Zimbabwean president, at least during the year of his chairmanship, so he may be making a few trips in Europe, too.

[Image: Public Domain]

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