Falling Dictator Becomes Meme After Govt Fails to Remove Photo from Web


President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe recently fell down a flight of stairs, and whenever a genocidal dictator falls down and cameras are around to capture the moment, memes are born and authoritarian governments must try to kill them.

Mugabe, the president since 1987 who oversaw the country’s economic decline and quite a bit of ethnic cleansing, was giving a speech in Harare when he tripped over a red carpet as he was leaving, resulting in the following image:

Many of the photographers say they were asked to delete photos of the 90-year-old falling, and the government quickly moved to cover up the incident. “The misrepresentations and morbid celerbations of the incident by malcontents is the real news here and not the alleged fall as there was none,” Information Minister Jonathan Moyo said to the state-owned Zimbabwe Herald, before offering an alternative interpretation:

Nobody has shown any evidence of the president having fallen down because that did not happen. 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.

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.

The paper then went on to list a number of world leaders, including George W. Bush and Queen Sophia of Spain, who suffered “ignomious” falls. “These are just a few examples of high-profile incidents where leaders fell down with the stories hardly speculating about the health or the ages of people concerned,” the paper, which again, is state-owned, said.

Nevertheless, the photo got out, and with that, so did the endless memes. Here are but a few:

And it also inspired a hot new dance craze:

[h/t The Washington Post]
[Featured image via AP]

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