Zimbabwe is boiling with rage over the news of the belated birthday party set to hold on the 28th of February for President and ruler of Zimbabwe who will be 91 on the 21st of February. Mugabe Who has never been known to go easy on the festivities is certainly not going to relent this year. It does not matter what is happening around the country or how buoyant the country is, it seems much more important to celebrate the leader of the country. It was revealed that a very big birthday bash has been planned to mark the president’s birthday just like it has always been done. The president has not spared any cost in planning the bash as sources say that close to a million dollars has been spent to ensure the success of the bash.
According to an official of the ruling party, Tongai Kasukuwere who spoke with Zimbabwean media, the party had raised 60% of the total money needed for the birthday jamboree which is expected to be hosted at the luxurious resort town of the famous Victoria falls. He was quoted saying “We have sourced more than half of what we want and more companies and individuals are promising to contribute in the near future. We are looking at a sizable figure which is befitting the magnitude of the person whose birthday we are celebrating. To us as Zanu PF youths, this is a moment to celebrate his achievements and greatness and celebrate what he has done for Africa and the world as a whole”.
An estimated 20,000 guests are expected to grace the occasion and enjoy a night of fine dining on the best of food, wine, music and elephant meat which local farmer Tendai Musasa has pledged to donate towards the success of the occasion. Zimbabwe’s Chronicle newspaper reported that Tendai Musasa pledged to donate two elephants, two buffaloes, two sables, five Impalas and a lion worth a combined £78 000 (about R1.4-million). He went on to say
“This is our way of supporting the function and to ensure a celebratory mood in our community as well…The total value is $120 000. This reflects the money we get annually and we thought this would be a perfect gesture.”
He added that they are presently making arrangements with the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority to slaughter these animals a few days before the day, and that they have also made arrangements with the hotel that will keep the meat.
Remember that Mugabe’s government is already under fire for a plan to export 27 live elephants to China, an act of donation which activists have condemned bitterly.
While the members of the ruling party are all out for the celebration, members of the opposition party have branded the feast ‘obscene’ in a country that is plagued with poverty, unemployment and a host of diseases. Their argument was based on the fact that there are more pressing needs than digging into the country’s already thin purse to celebrate an old man who should have retired.
Obert Gutu, spokesman for the MDC party said in a statement, “All the money that has been collected to bankroll this obscene jamboree should be immediately channeled towards rehabilitating the collapsed public hospitals, clinics and rural schools in Matabeleland North province.” He also suggested that the food donated for the birthday be handed over to charities for the disabled and to orphanages.
This will not be the first time that Mugabe’s birthday bash has drawn criticism within and outside the country, but not even the fact that UN says one in three Zimbabwean children are stunted because of hunger would stop Mugabe. We are only left to wonder what will.