President Robert Mugabe's guards 'sacked' for allowing him to trip on red carpet

The 90-year-old leader ordered journalists to delete photos

Nearly 30 bodyguards to Robert Mugabe have reportedly lost their jobs after "allowing" him to fall over on a red carpet in public.

The President of Zimbabwe, 90, handed suspension letters to around 27 of his security staff on Friday as he believes they did not act fast enough to break his fall, which led him to be photographed on his hands and knees – Zimbabwean paper Standard reports.

 

The security staff had seemingly already been replaced by the time the president met with newly-elected Zambian leader Edgar Lungu later that day, the paper reported.

Photographers were also ordered to delete images of the moment Mugabe appeared to have missed a step while walking down a podium at an airport, according to Associated Press.

An official told the Standard: “He went on to touch the ground on all fours.

“That should never happen. What if someone pulled a gun? The immediate proximity team should have helped him up because those are the people that are allowed to touch him before anyone else.”

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Mugabe, who will be 91 on 21 February, was travelling back to Zimbabwe from Ethiopia that day after he was assigned the role of chairperson of the African Union.

The president – who led a revolution against white-minority rule – has been accused of allowing his supporters to use violence as an election strategy, according to human rights groups.

The country abandoned its hyper-inflated currency for the US dollar in 2009.

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