Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe (right). (FP)
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) – Witnesses say Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, 90, fell down steps from a podium after speaking to supporters upon his return from Ethiopia.
Mugabe appeared to miss a step and toppled when he left the raised lectern at the airport Wednesday afternoon, according to several witnesses, who insisted on anonymity because of security concerns.
His aides quickly helped him up and escorted him to his limousine which sped away, they said.
“He addressed supporters who welcomed him and thanked them for their support. He missed a step as he walked down from the podium and immediately fell down,” said a witness.
Some press photographers who captured the fall said they were forced to delete their pictures by security personnel.
Mugabe’s spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
Mugabe was elected chairman of the 54-nation African Union at a summit of African leaders earlier this week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
He celebrates his 91st birthday on February 21. Mugabe takes annual vacations every January to Asia where he is reportedly treated by specialist doctors. The Zimbabwean leader has repeatedly insisted that he is “fit as two fiddles”.