Mugabe falls down stairs

HARARE - In an incident at Harare International Airport yesterday that elicited loud gasps of concern among gathered senior government officials, service chiefs and Zanu PF supporters, President Robert Mugabe fell down a staircase as he walked off a podium.

The increasingly frail nonagenarian, who often goes to the Far East for medical check-ups, had just finished addressing his supporters after returning from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he took over the rotating ceremonial chairmanship of the African Union when he missed a step and tumbled off the podium.

Although he appeared unhurt after the nasty fall, the incident  — which occurred in full view of gathered bigwigs, Zanu PF rank and file members and journalists — triggered visible panic among senior government officials and the security chiefs, who all scrambled to help him get on his feet and ensure that he was alright.

Pic: The Telegraph

Aggressive security personnel immediately moved to force all the gathered photojournalists, including a crew from the Daily News, to delete pictures of the mortifying fall.

A Daily News photographer who was forced to delete the team’s pictures of the incident, said, “We managed to take a number of really good pictures and members of the State security demanded my name, my media house and asked me to show them my Press card.

“They then ordered me to delete the pictures. They walked away immediately after that episode.

“The way we were ordered to delete pictures was scary. Those goons were not negotiating, all they wanted was to make sure the pictures were not published and we were left with no option but to delete the dramatic pictures,” the photographer said.

Another Daily News photographer, who had managed to sneak away into the crowd after capturing the moment Mugabe fell down until he was lifted up by aides, was pursued and smoked out of the crowds by the menacing security agents.

“You have pictures we want, please delete the pictures,” one of the fiery-looking security agents demanded from the photojournalist.

Although the photojournalist tried to explain that the photos they wanted had already been deleted by other security agents, he demanded to be shown the evidence upon which he promptly went on to “liquidate” the photos.

Turning 91 in three weeks’ time, Mugabe is officially Africa’s oldest leader and the continent’s third-longest serving leader.

He is also the only leader Zimbabweans have known since the country’s independence from Britain in 1980, in a region where most of the neighbouring countries have had up to six different leaders during the same time.

A senior government official who witnessed the incident attempted to explain away the fall by attributing it to the absence of Mugabe’s wife Grace, who is said to be recuperating from a minor surgery in Singapore.

Over the past few years, Grace has assisted her frail husband at such occasions by holding the nonagenarian’s hand when he climbs and alights stairs.

Mugabe, who spoke to his supporters for just under an hour, had indicated earlier that he was tired and that he wanted to rest.

“I thank you very much, we want you to take a rest just as we also want to rest,” he said.

With all cameras zooming in on him on a hot afternoon, Mugabe also appealed to the media to focus on developmental and not negative issues only, without saying whether the message was aimed at the broad media industry or lickspittle State media that have been at the forefront of formenting divisions in his warring party.

“The progress that we achieve must constitute new steps to make further progress. We lead from one level of progress to the next level of progress until we achieve and accomplish our objectives,” Mugabe said.

Mugabe also appealed for peace in the country, calling on the MDC to celebrate with him and Zanu PF his assumption of the AU chairmanship.

But he could not resist firing salvos at former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa, whom he described as a “foolish person”.

He also thumbed his nose at the West, which he accused of having allegedly worked tirelessly to dash the country’s hopes of assuming the AU chairmanship.

Speaking ahead of the nonagenarian, vice presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko went into bootlicking overdrive.

“Cde president as the Zanu PF family, we are walking on cloud nine.

“You have made us proud. You were elected by the whole of Africa from Cape to Cairo to lead Africa,” gushed Mnangagwa.

Repeating Mugabe’s hype on populist policies like the land reform programme and the indigenisation policy, Mnangagwa said Africa would also soon embrace Zimbabwe’s policies.

“We saw you sitting in the office of the African Union and we said now wait and see, Africa is for Africans,” Mnangagwa said.

Not to be outdone, Mphoko said Mugabe was a giant on the African continent.

“I would not want to spoil what the president has said but I remember that in an OAU meeting in Freetown in 1980 you said I came, I saw and I conquered.

“And now you have gone to the AU meeting in Addis Ababa and they deliberated and you are now the chairman. All I can say is they made you chairman because muri gomo remakomo (You are a towering mountain among mountains).”

Mugabe was last week elected by his fellow heads of State to replace Mauritania’s Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz as honorary chairperson of the African Union (AU) — a position which rotates among the continent’s five regions.

He has come under increasing political pressure at home — both from within and outside his ruling party — and is subject to travel bans in the European Union and in the USA because of allegations of gross human rights violations against him and his administration.

When he initially took power at independence, Mugabe was widely feted both at home and abroad, and was seen as promoting reconciliation.

But the much talked about human rights abuses and chaotic land reforms that forced out white commercial farmers from their farms from around 2000 onwards drew the ire of the West and lost him much political capital at home.

Since then, the Zanu PF leader has also increasingly been accused of vote-rigging as his party has clung on to power, with a group of stalwarts in his party now also taking him head-on.

Mugabe’s fall yesterday mirrored the dramatic collapse of police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri mid last year, moments after Mugabe had addressed a pass-out parade of 651 police graduates at Morris Training Depot in Harare.

Chihuri’s collapse, which he bizarrely blamed on tight-fitting shoes, came at a time when the country was grappling with health scares for both Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Comments (52)

inotambika. nothing to be excited about. Thank God his bones are still intact.

selele - 5 February 2015

Kunyepa. president havana kudonha. sutu ndiyo yakadonha asi kungoti ivo vanga vari mukati mayo

ndozvo - 5 February 2015

The fall of "the giant". They gave him the task to make sure his engine runs out quickly as it is badly worn-out. surely a man at such an age deserves not more burden but rest. I hhope the engine is not already overheating coz they is not a cure or worth the repairs but just to buy a new one.

springboard - 5 February 2015

This is a bad omen. Remember Dr Kamuzu Banda falling a few decades ago. He never lived to see the end of that year. Falls in elderly people are signs of poor health.

Banda - 5 February 2015

I dont bliv this....

leeroy - 5 February 2015

pakadai moyo yedu vamwe inorwadziwa. i do understand that others celebrate the president's misery. but let me be honest with you guys my heart goes to him. i personally wish him well. its hard to take but that is what is in me.

taurai - 5 February 2015

taurai - Zvino urikutitaurira kuti zvidiyi? futseki chimu CIO chekuma hosteri. Akadonha akadonha. Achembera asihaabvume.

Der - 5 February 2015 are wrong, no need for us to feel sorry for a man who doesn't know when to say no. He is too old, he should have given up on power long time ago. He is too greedy and power crazy so feel sorry for him if you want but some of us don't. My father died at 94, so i know what 90s means. He is too old and should stop the rubbish of wanting to stay in power forever.

MarkUNO - 5 February 2015

That is not news at all. Munhu wese at one point or the other wakambodonha. Sometimes pasina vanhu, sometimes panevanhu. Zvaitikawo kuna President, obvious, 90% of his fall will raise critics because anodonhera pamberi pemacamera. Imiwo maitsvagei ipapo, Tsvangirai president wenyu mamusiya nani? Haiwawo tibvireipo netumacamera twenyu. All your presidents whom you support are always failers and have no direction. Taitonyara vachi addressa, even masupporters avo. What more when being appointed to be chairpeson of AU. Taizoshaya pokupinda. Be proud of this great man. I Love you Bhobho.

Alfred - 5 February 2015

zanu pf knows how to abuse gentlemen and also those who cling to power ,those are results

mr hnest - 5 February 2015

Please, be proud of your country and your President. Ndiani angaende achitaura kuti baba vangu vakadonha pamasteps nezuro. It shows immaturity. Be proud of your selves. Plus ukarambwa nemusikana, hazvireve kuti uyo aroora musikana wacho haasi murume akakwana. Just accept defeat and lets move on. Please, if you voted for your president who were defeated doesnt me the one who won is not a President. Being a President doesnt need much strength. Dai zvakadaro, taitora mamonya toita President, but it require sharp brains, committement and experience. And those who thing it requires strength to be a President, they end up dividing their party because of fighting. Let appriciate what Mdhara wedu zvaari kutiitira. We are in a peaceful country and peace continent.

alfred - 5 February 2015

Imi vakuru vemapaper nhau, tumaiwo vanhu vanotapa nhau, kwete vanotapa nyaya dzemasteps, zvataurwa tsve pasi. haiwawo tipewo serious.

Tedias - 5 February 2015

Imi vakuru vemapaper nhau, tumaiwo vanhu vanotapa nhau, kwete vanotapa nyaya dzemasteps, zvataurwa tsve pasi. haiwawo tipewo serious.

Tedias - 5 February 2015

@markUNO and der. i can understand why you disapprove of my respect of the president as a person. I know that as a people we have suffered a lot and would like to believe that this suffering could be the reason some wish the president harm. but i have to be honest with you and may be my self as well. the truth is i have a lot of respect for this man. i know we can not all see things the same way but this is my choice. i wish him well.

taurai - 5 February 2015

As one guy as pointed out Africans believe an adult human being does not just fall if that happens it is a bad omen . Malweza . imihlolo . mashura .

Diibulaanyika - 5 February 2015

taurai - uri mhata yemunhu futseki. Ndezvako nekaddharakako ikoko. Kavepedyo kufa.

Der - 5 February 2015

zvinoshura kuona harahwa kana chembere ichiwira/kudona pasi,kumakaranga vanoti ivhu radana..mwedzi ozwakuti havachanzizvakanaka..kungoti chirungu chatipinda so we take these things lightly...mmmmm gore hariperi

chihombori - 5 February 2015

This incident shows that those closest to the Prez are his worst enemy. They are abusing the man. Instead of allwing him to go straight to rest, they organise a rally in the sun. Instead of retiring, they pile more and more responsibilities on him. Shame on you Grace and Emmer.

Samaita - 5 February 2015

We have seen Mugabe in recent days hallucinating publicly such as telling us that he lost to Morgan in 2008 elections ,insulting his own political party and now he falls in front of the public , But not so far he will fall in public and never to stand up alive not even his thugs acting as aids will help him . But one wonders why does Jao not tell his uncle to retire from politics ? That is the duty of a nephew to pursued uncles to change their thoughts on somethings . Come on Leon do something talk to yo uncle never let his wife abuse him by telling him to stay on as president that is rubbish.

Diibulaanyika - 5 February 2015

A wise leader does at fist what a foolish leader does at last. The wise thing to do was to retire at the right time, unfortunately its a bit late.

Educated fools - 5 February 2015

The one thing that is going to pull Mugabe down is the economy and he falls this time he is not going to get up!

wilbert Mukori - 5 February 2015

Mugabe fell down because he is old and his eyesight-leg-coordination has gone haywire. At his age he should be using a walking stick or zimmer frame but he is too narcissistic to do so. He wants to give the impression he is fit as fiddle to continue to rule. Opponents are saying “We told you so”. In Zambia the F government tried to play down Sata's illness when everyone in Zambia knew he did not have long to live. After this fall Mugabe now knows he cannot fool anyone. Presidential candidate in 2018? Doubtful. Pride came before the fall. Will he retire? Never. The only thing that will stop Mugabe is a stroke or total blindness. Nowadays he has beefed up his security - he is always surrounded by 5 or 6 bodyguards plus the aide-de-camp but surprisingly they could not stop Mugabe falling down and they could not lift him up (would have been undignified to hold the Presidents upper arm like you are lifting a crate). Unelected idiot Jonathan Moyo says even Jesus would have fallen down - tosh. I am wondering which is the most hilarious the picture last year of the Mapostori beating up policemen in Budiriro or Mugabe falling down?

Musona - 5 February 2015

I do not rejoice in others' misfortune. I wish the president well. For those interested in the spiritual aspect of things, at some point the Israelites were taken captive to Babylon, against their will but in line with God's will. What did God tell them? God told Jeremiah the prophet to tell the people to pray for the Babylonian nation and leader, because during that time of captivity, Babylon's success was going to be Israels success as well, but if anything bad was going to happen to babylon, things were just gonna be worse for the Israelites. My message is, pray for your leaders, how bad you might think they are. For the meantime that is who we have, and if they make foolish policies then we suffer, but if they make good policies we benefit whether we support their political parties or not. So Zimbabweans, let us not be so cold-hearted to celebrate the fall of the country's leader.

Gatsi Rusere - 5 February 2015

I will not listen to the nonsense from unelected buffoon Jonathan Moyo because when Grace first went around the country denouncing Joice Mujuru Jonathan Moyo said at the time - Grace was not attacking Joice but merely talking about the office of the Vice-President only to make a volte-face a few days later when he realised he was backing the wrong horse. Mugabe will fall down again because of old age and we will want to see what Jonathan Moyo will say. No human being can beat Father Time. Mugabe is old and useless. He has failed dismally. The longer he stays in power the worse the situation will be. I have seen better prime ministers.

Musona - 5 February 2015

Ummmm, its so sad actually. my prayer is that he doesnt soil himself in his trousers one day. ko ivo mai Mugabe varipiko murume achiita zvatirikuona izvi?

Budzi - 6 February 2015

@gatsi rusere, I couldn't have said it any better than you did. there is no need for us to be anti leaders(hip). what kind of society would come out of such thinking and behaviour? if we envisage a prosperous zim, it may be worthwhile to start thikning positively about our leaders. it doesn't helps us in any way to redicule our own president. hazvina hunhu. Ubuntu.

taurai - 6 February 2015

Mudhara vakura. Surely this nation should seriously consider retiring him. It is cruel to depend on a person his age and yet we call ourselves democratic! Zvanyanya izvi

Tony - 6 February 2015

Considering that it is only bona fide zanupf supporters who where at the Airport to see the dear leader it follows these are the same people who have embarrassed him by sending these videos and pictures. So what can we say about ZanuPf supporters, are they genuine or are just there out of fear?

maita - 6 February 2015

dzazvambuka chete. ndaspakwa

Bhoramusango - 6 February 2015

now im convinced this man is the greatest on planet earth. at his age (91) falling is a thing that can still headlines. it means they never expect him to stumble even though teenagers are expected to. it's amazing isn't it. my grandpa is about 80 but now he uses a stick for support but this one at 91 uses his two legs and the world believes he is too fit to stumble.

tom - 6 February 2015

The day our beloved President will soil himself in public we will then wish he had retired earlier. I wish he soils himself in the Presence of izikhotha sihlama o Jono

DODI - 6 February 2015

thnk God life doesnt follow ppl's wishes otherwise you also by now could be dead

tom - 6 February 2015

Good chadonha.kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

ak - 6 February 2015

We cant show respect for someone who has destroyed our future and who has no respect for basic human rights ,i graduated from university but this old man screwed up the economy of our beautiful country with is stupid policies. Thank you Mr President for destroying our future and everything we worked for. Bhora musango Dai chafirapo pachadonha. kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk.

ak - 6 February 2015

only a fool will rejoice during someone's trying times, we all have fathers and mothers and when someone walks around publicising that he/she stumbled and fell in public im sure that will not make good reading, i know the head of state and government is as fit as a fiddle and if he sustained an injury that day , i wish him a speedy recovery LONG LIVE PRESIDENT MUGABE those who democratically elected you still need your invaluable services -MUGABE 2018 AHOYYYYYY

badger 6 - 6 February 2015

People fall down because of the following reasons, stepping on slippy surfaces, when extremely drunk, startled and turning to run away and run into objects, or loose footwear, undone shoelaces, or in a stampede or riot, or pushed unexpectedly, the infirm, the very old, or tackled playing sport or stumbling on objects in the dark. I did not include infants learning to walk. My own verdict is Mugabe is tumbled because he is old and/or infirm. Old people normally use zimmer frames which is not something used in African countries or the rudimentary walking stick. Mugabe does not want a walking stick because political opponents will pour scorn at an “ailing and old leader clinging to power”. I am especially interested in this fall because it clearly shows the man is unfit to run government. Most ordinary folk retire at 65 years, now Mugabe is 91and always going for running repairs in Far East. Come on people - he is too old. He has one foot in the grave. Nobody can change that.

Musona - 6 February 2015

One sentence should read, "Mugabe tumbled because he is old and/or infirm".

Musona - 6 February 2015

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Leo - 6 February 2015

Kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk maiwe!!!! Bhuuuuuuu!!! ndasura nekuseka vadikani. Dhanzi rakadaro handisati ndamboriona. Rinongo gonekwa naana John Travolta. Kkkkkkkkk

Chipoto vhaivhai - 6 February 2015

musona musona nhaka tinokaura nesvoteswa. pls leave the head of state alone. you and i fall don't we?

taurai - 6 February 2015

son of s harlot - I am not writing about your mothers bum you idiot. you and your head of state can go to hell. Idiot

Musona - 6 February 2015

If it was not for western medication used by Mugabe to keep his skin fresh his relatives could be smearing cow dung on his body to avoid cracks which occur to people of his age . Or worse still he could be at a rural home living in a hamlet built far a away from the rest of other hamlets . But he must thank the medicine discovered by whites he hates so much for it has kept him this far although now it is gradually failing to stop him from hallucinating in public as well as falling at a plain place with nothing that can make a normal adult human being fall. Hey i feel sorry for those who feel sorry for the most evil man zimbabwe has ever known with 20 000 dead bodies under his built . To some of us we say wi li!!!!!! whilili!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the day will come when we will all feel good very soon and very soon iwaa chichembele.

Diibulaanyika - 6 February 2015

The people who are celebrating the President's fall, in addition to the compromised state of their heart are working on multiple assumptions, which are equally false. The first is that the President's fall signifies his demise and proximity to the grave. Well, I am glad none of us is God, so our wishes do not necessarily translate to reality! If God wants President Mugabe to be alive until he is 160, so be it. By the way, it is not uncommon for people to live beyond a 100 years old. Check what are called "Blue Zones" to see different regions of the world (6 specified zones) where the people there enjoy healthy longevity. These zones are similar in that the people there live healthy lifestyles like no alcohol, no smoking, less meat in diet, lots of exercise, and strong social/spiritual support. To my knowledge, the president is health conscious, and in. addition to God letting him live longer, he also does his best to remain healthy. Manje iwewe unoti wabva kubhawa manheru wakuda kuseka President kuti vadonha? Ndiwe unofa first President vachisara (imagine how many young people are dying every year because of sleeping around, and other unhealthy lifestyles?) Infact, in one of the Blue Zones, at Loma Linda University in California USA, there is a cardiovascular surgeon who could still operate on the human heart with unphased meticilousness even at the age of 99 (sorry for those who think old age automatically decreases brain function). By the way, if anything, as one who is involved in the medical field, my hope is that you copy the president, at least as far as health is concerned. See, his bones are not brittle as charasteristic of bones of many in old age, otherwise you would be celebrating him breaking bones not just falling. Long live President!

Gatsi Rusere - 6 February 2015

@ Dibu, how many people use Western medication but still die young? Its not about medication alone, lifestyle is the best predicator of health, although medicine has its rightful restorative use. Also, that the West invented modern medication is no reason for African exploitation. And thanks for clearly expounding in the second fallacious assumption that people have: that things are going to be fine if President Mugabe dies. That is a simplistic view of things, borne out of the fantasizing justifiably caused by the current status quo. But fantasies seldom translate into reality. If this was true, then things should have been great once President Mugabe replaced Smith, but alas, life does not work that way. If anything, things might start falling apart, even more, once the one stabilizing force in Zanu-PF (and consequently Zimbabwe itself) is gone. Some of us, might not be comfortable with the Matebeleland killings (which the same West winked at because "Bob" was their guy at the time), and are obviously not happy with the downward spiral of the economy. But some of us still hold reverence for leadership, and also still appreciate the positive things that the current president has done, without glossing over any of his mistakes (which we all do by the way).

Gatsi Rusere - 6 February 2015

Wow @gatsi rusere. Mwari vakuitire zvakanaka. I wish the president of our republic well. whenever i remember, i say a little prayer for him too. there is something that makes me feel respect towards him as a person.

taurai - 6 February 2015

@ Gatsi Rusere well it is you who is just thinking like pikinini which young person have you heard who goes to Asia for a full moon receiving medication and at last died ? Hee ! I am talking about serious western medication here not as you think of pain killers and norolons no mani if it was not for that your legend could have died long back . I am do not know about good leadership you are talking about when zimbabweans 90% of them are not employed no access to medication, education, food, clean water ,shelter , good roads. no free and fair elections in the country for them to choose a govt of their own every thing your legend does stinks and not good for the citizens as far as we are concerned Mugabe is the worst ever leader to lead this country . Trying to paint him here as a good leader is absurd .and confused.

Diibulaanyika - 6 February 2015

vakomana musadaro baba venyu mangwana ndiwevo ndezvapano pasi kudenga hakuna izvozvo

zabu - 9 February 2015

vakomana musadaro baba venyu mangwana ndiwevo ndezvapano pasi kudenga hakuna izvozvo

zabu - 9 February 2015

vakomana musadaro baba venyu mangwana ndiwevo ndezvapano pasi kudenga hakuna izvozvo

zabu - 9 February 2015

vakomana musadaro baba venyu mangwana ndiwevo ndezvapano pasi kudenga hakuna izvozvo

zabu - 9 February 2015

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