It was the stumble heard across the world. Zimbabwe president and new chairman of the African Union, Robert Mugabe can add viral meme star to his resume. On Wednesday, the elderly politician was presenting a speech in Harare. After the speech, he left the podium and seemed to trip and fall.
Despite being caught on film, the 90-year old man and the Zimbabwe government did something very odd. They denied that the fall ever happened. Not just a simple denial either, they released an official statement announcing that the president did not fall. The government did admit that their leader may have tripped a little on some poorly laid carpet. They made it clear that no one would of been able to walk on the carpet and not trip, not even Jesus himself.
“Nobody has shown any evidence of the president having fallen down because that did not happen,” Information Minister Jonathan Moyo told the state-owned Zimbabwe Herald, before offering a more obtuse explanation. “The hump on which the president tripped was formed by two pieces of the carpet which apparently had not been laid out properly where they joined. And to be honest with you, even Jesus, let alone you, would have also tripped in that kind of situation.”
Mogo continued, “In the circumstances, there’s really nothing to write home about the nonsensical celebrations by malcontents who are imagining a fall that never was since it was actually broken by the president himself.”
Take a look for yourself. What do you think? It definitely looks like a fall…
Fortunately, international media caught the incident on camera. Local photographers are reporting that their footage was confiscated by the president’s security. Of course, this response seems ridiculous to many and the fall was quickly a trending social media topic: #MugabeFalls
It was only a matter of time before the incident was turned into hilarious memes.
— Mɪᴄʜᴀᴇʟ Kɪʀᴋᴘᴀᴛʀɪᴄᴋ ☮️ ❤️ ???? (@OtimMichael) February 4, 2015
— stevie wonder (@Stevoste) February 4, 2015
— Jeffrey Smith (@Smith_JeffreyT) February 4, 2015
The Washington Post is reporting that the urge to cover up the fall comes during a time of heavy public speculation of the aging leader’s health. Many have been questioning if his health is failing, as he has taken many secret trips to Singapore, where some believe he is receiving treatment for colon cancer.
Robert Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe for 35 years and has gained a reputation as somewhat of a pariah. The future is unclear after he is no longer in power.