'Mugabe bash unreasonable'

HARARE - Zimbabwe's grinding economic crisis has done nothing to alter the ruling Zanu PF party’s ambitions to mark its leader’s 91st birthday with unrestrained feasting in the resort town of Victoria Falls.

School children and Zanu PF youth brigades from the 10 political provinces will hold parades to mark the occasion. As in previous years, it is planned as a military-style operation dubbed the 21st February Movement.

Turning 91 on February 21, Mugabe’s belated birthday bash will be held at the four-star Elephant Hills Intercontinental Hotel in the Vic Falls resort on February 29. Held under the theme “Celebrating the birth of Gushungo, the icon of Zimbabwe’s revolution and champion of youth empowerment”, guests will be treated to three-course meals, and a music gala featuring top Zimbabwean artists. Prior to the event, a “Miss 21st Movement” beauty pageant and a football tournament dubbed the “Bob 91 Super Cup” will be staged.

Tongai Kasukuwere, Zanu PF youth league secretary for finance and a member of the 21st February Movement fund-raising committee, said all is going well.

“All is moving well and I can safely tell you that we have raised three quarters of the money needed,” he said.

“I do not have the figures offhand. They are in the office.”

Pupurai Togarepi, the Zanu PF youth league boss, said in a statement that the birthday celebrations are being held to honour Mugabe for empowering Zimbabweans.

“This is a birthday celebration by the youths to the president as their liberation icon,” he said. “It puts into consideration what he has done for them in terms of empowerment, freedom, access to education, health facilities and other resources.”

The celebrations are seen as a perverse taunt by critics.

Obert Gutu, MDC spokesperson, said the lavish birthday party was testament that Mugabe and his party were selfish and insensitive to the plight of Zimbabweans.

“While more than 80 percent of Zimbabweans are living in penury and deprivation, Zanu PF is preparing for the mother of all bashes to celebrate their leader’s 91st birthday,” Gutu said. “As the MDC, we unreservedly condemn such an act of selfishness and insensitivity.”

Samuel Gwenzi, Zimbabwe National Students Union national coordinator, said the ruling party has misplaced priorities.

“It is clear mischief on the part of the ruling party to allocate such obscene monies in celebrating the head of state’s birthday when the country is bleeding economically,” he said. “The current 2015 budget allocated a paltry $5 million dollars towards students’ loans and grants. Hence it shows the government has misplaced priorities and lack of ideas to ensure a working economy.”

Dewa Mavhinga, a human rights activist, said Zimbabweans are now accustomed to insensitivity and mediocrity from their political leaders so much that a lavish 91st birthday for Mugabe is unlikely to invoke outrage.

“It will be business as usual in Zimbabwe with political leaders partying amidst a crumbling economy and suffering masses who are failing to ends meet,” he said. “The worst part of it all is that the poverty and collapsed economy are direct products of bad governance by the ruling elite.”

Comments (4)

Those born free in 180 are now 35 years and born into poverty, born into poverty.

maita - 9 February 2015

This Kasukuwere is very simple......"I don't have a the figures but we've raised 75%..." 75% of a figure you don't know? Am I missing something here? Hanzi champion of youth empowerment....how many of our youths hold down a job today? This country is no different to circus that is North Korea. It's very clear it's all politics of the cult of 'Mugabes'.

mukwerekwere - 9 February 2015

@mukwerekwere...mati madii? Brigade Five was trained there... "To my childish eyes and to those of all my friends, Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il were perfect beings, untarnished by any base human function. I was convinced, as we all were, that neither of them urinated or defecated. Who could imagine such things of gods?..." "magnitude of adulation often borders on fanaticism. His photograph is displayed ahead of the national flag and national emblem; the song of Marshal Kim Il-sung is played ahead of the national anthem; the best institution of higher learning is named after him; the highest party school is also named after him; and there are songs, poems, essays, stories, and even a flower named after him."..

selele - 9 February 2015

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