The bodyguards of the Zimbabwean 92-year-old President Mugabe do everything they can to make sure the mistakes of last year is not repeated.
The president, who assessed a guard of honour at the stadium in the capital, Harare, on Monday – as the country celebrates her 36 years of independence – saw intense guarding.
Arriving to the venue in a vehicle, the security body guards formed a tight ring around him to ensure he did not fall while stepping out of his car and if he did, to avoid the moment being captured by journalists. Upon stepping off his vehicle, the security officers who rounded him up loosened their ring, allowing him to walk back to the dias.
Last year, when the president fell, several of his bodyguards were punished for failing to prevent him from falling down the steps from a podium, after it drew widespread mockery online. Though his staff scrambled to cover up the embarrassing incident, with photographers at the scene saying they were forced to delete the images, they took it more serious this time.
The longtime leader of Zimbabwe, who has sworn to lead his country until God says come, is growing weaker by the day.
Addressing the audience during the event, the Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe urged his people to shun corruption, tribalism, and nepotism, the state-owned Herald newspaper reports.
Mr Mugabe, whose administration is known to make late payment to public servants, apologised for late payments to pensioners, as well as delays in paying salaries and perks to government officers.
Mugabe was quoted as saying in the speech he delivered in the capital, Harare, to mark 36 years of independence from white rule, that future payments would be more predictable and on time.
Mr Mugabe has been the president of Zimbabwe – which is rocked by economic crisis – since independence.
He boasted that since his leadership, closed firms are reopening and new ones established, making jobs available to the country’s nationals.
“My government is determined to translate political independence into meaningfulness, by attending to the socio-economic needs of our people,” .