The Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), has made a proposal to declare a public holiday on February 21 being president Mugabe’s birthday.
They proposed that the intended holiday is to commemorate President Robert Mugabe’s birthday and have a proper celebration. The ZANU PF youth secretary Pupurai Togarepi, said that the Ministry of Justice has the received proposal to declare 21st February a public holiday. Reports said that the proposal was sent last Monday.
However, on hearing this, opposition parties have cried out, saying that ZANU-PF usually seeks for avenues to squander Zimbabwe’s dwindling resources. They opined that there is no reason to hero-worship the 91-year-old leader. They said that if a public holiday is introduced on the president’s birthday, economic activities would be forced to close down. They rather challenged ZANU-PF to fine-tune the falling standard of Zimbabwe’s economy.
Zimbabwe’s National Constitutional Assembly spokesperson Madock Chivasa said that “Instead of coming up with such comic proposals, the corrupt Zanu PF government must concentrate on finding solutions to the problems faced by ordinary Zimbabweans.”
Reacting to ZANU-PF’s proposal also, spokesperson of The Movement for Democratic Change Tsvangirai Obert Gutu, described those agitating for the public holiday as “misguided sycophants”. He maintained that in a democratic country like Zimbabwe, such “bootlicking” of the president never existed.
He postulated that “As a nation, Zimbabwe should promptly move away from this medieval and archaic tradition of creating strong personalities as opposed to creating strong institutions.”
“The call by the Zanu PF youth league for the government to declare a public holiday to commemorate Robert Mugabe’s birthday on February 21 is an absurdity of the highest order”.
“This is the height of bootlicking and it ought to be condemned in the strongest terms possible.” Gutu reiterated.
Gutu lamented that the country has faced untold hardship under Mugabe’s leadership. He said that poverty has taken over the country, which is being reflected in the lives of millions of Zimbabweans.
“A few Zanu PF sycophants might want to deify and hero-worship Robert Mugabe, but these few misguided people must be told, in no uncertain terms, that their hero has caused the suffering of millions of Zimbabweans,” he said.
Gutu conclusively said that Zimbabwe has enough public holidays already. Hence, declaring another public holiday in honour of president Mugabe is simply irrelevant and uncalled off.
“We have more than enough public holidays already and the last thing Zimbabwe needs right now is another useless and thoroughly undeserved public holiday”.
Kurauone Chihwayi of The Movement for Democratic Change said, “Zanu PF fat cats are always preoccupied with the needs and wants of one person and not concerned with the sick economy and dilapidated infrastructure. The MDC views this as a misguided decision by Mugabe’s praise singers.” Chihwayi simply labeled the proposed plan a preposterous proposal.”
Mugabe will turn 92 by February and the youth wing of his party has put up plans to make his birthday “the biggest ever”. Masvingo province would be hosting the presidential birthday this year for the first time. ZANU-PF has listed some activities to be carried out in honour of the veteran leader. Music gala, football competition and lots more are top on the list.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Moyo had posted on his twitter account that, “All things considered and without prejudice, February 21 deserves to be a public holiday celebrated as Robert Mugabe Day in Zimbabwe.” Moyo has also made the move to name a university after Zimbabwe’s legendary leader.
Not deterred by criticisms from opposition parties, ZANU-PF youth secretary has poured praises on president Mugabe. He described Mugabe as a visionary leader. Adding that, as an international figure, he loves Zimbabwe and his love can never be equated with money or presents.