The Zambia Air force (ZAF) aircraft, which had carried the visiting leader from Lusaka, could not start as panic gripped senior military, security and Government officials who were all over the airport apron.
Following the failure, senior officials instructed protocol staff to lay the red carpet, which had been removed after the President had boarded, for him to use as he was about to be evacuated from the aircraft.
The panic became more apparent among the security personnel, while airport staff also waited for a solution from the ZAF crew.
The motorcade that had been parked a short distance away was driven closer to the plane to carry the President who was about to be evacuated from the plane.
The aircraft which was scheduled to leave at 14:25 hours for Lusaka, only took off after 20 minutes.This was after it was attended to. It was not clear what caused the failure.
Security personnel stopped journalists from taking pictures and threatened to grab the camera from Times bureau chief, Edward Mulenga, after noticing he was taking shots of the plane.
Speaking earlier in an interview, Mr Guelleh said Zambia was blessed to have the Victoria Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world.
Mr Guelleh said Djibouti would work closely with Zambia to prop up tourism.
The President who was impressed by the falls assured that apart from tourism, his government would work with Zambia in telecommunications and advance the two nationsâ€™ technology.
He praised the people of Zambia for the warm welcome and urged them to continue with their warm spirit.
Mr Guelleh said Livingstone was a well known city in his country and felt he should visit it.
He was accompanied by Health Minister, Brian Chituwo. The visiting President is expected to leave for his country today. President Mwanawasa last night hosted a State dinner for Mr Guelleh in Lusaka.