Robert Mugabe, the dictator of Zimbabwe who was caught falling by the AP and turned into a meme, has fired at least 27 of his security staff for allowing him to trip over a carpet.
The two dozen-plus members of the presidential security and advance team were handed suspension letters earlier this week after photos showed them seemingly not assisting the 90-year-old president,
A “senior government official” provided an actual defense of the firings to the Zimbabwean paper Standard, which, to be fair, would inspire a Congressional inquiry here if the Secret Service allowed the President to fall flat on his face and didn’t help him up:
“The issue here is simple. The security team was caught napping.
They were taking things for granted and failed to adhere to basics. It is protocol that the immediate proximity is, at most, three metres from the President. These are the bullet takers and in cases where he falls they are supposed to hold him either by the arm or by the shoulder and should never take their eyes off him.”
The official also speculated that some of the suspensions were “decoys” by the state’s secret service, who “who wanted to appear as if they were doing something” in light of the incident inspiring #mugabefalls.
Naturally, the government’s press secretary put a fantastic authoritarian spin on the incident:
Presidential spokesperson George Charamba yesterday dismissed the reports of a shake up in President Mugabe’s security team as a fallacy.
“There is only one hand that shakes up and that hand has not shaken up [anything]. What is there to shake up? The last time you heard about a shake up it was from us and not from media reports,” Charamba said.
[Image via AP]
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