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President Mutharika slipped and fell while on a tree planting exercise

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Sad but true. President Peter Mutharika on Saturday slipped and fell down in public while on a tree planting exercise within the magnificent Kamuzu Palace premises in Lilongwe.

Mutharika—dressed in a blue pair of trousers, a longsleeved shirt and a khakhi hat—slipped and fell into a ditch just near the main palace entrance as he tried to plant a second tree after earlier planting another Royal palm outside Gate 1.

Bodyguards and other personnel on the security detail quickly rushed and helped the president up as women clad in Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regalia continued dancing and singing.

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Nonetheless, Mutharika continued with the exercise outside the palace and later granted journalists interviews where he encouraged Malawians to embrace a culture of planting trees so as to conserve the environment.

“Malawians should plant tree wherever they are. Whether its in the backyard or small space, plant a tree. This is also part of Beautify Malawi and I would want that we plant 1 million trees,” said Mutharika.

In an interview Saturday evening, Presidential Press Secretary Gerald Viola played down the incident saying the president is well.

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Said Viola: “I was not there when it happened as I always have weekend classes but I didn’t hear anything to that effect. I’m sure he just slipped and fell because the grounds are wet with the rains. People should not worry, His Excellency is not sick. He is fit and well.”

The tree planting exercise which was expected to start at 8:30 in the morning according to a communication from State House Press Office delayed after Mutharika emerged from the palace at 11:40am.

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