Mugabe's lavish bash 'a cultic celebration of personality'

HARARE - Analysts have described President Robert Mugabe’s planned $1 million birthday bash as an irrelevant cultic celebration of a personality instead of concentrating on millions of people who are starving throughout the country.

Mugabe will celebrate his 91st birthday at the luxurious Elephant Hills Resort Hotel in Victoria Falls next Saturday with at least 20 000 guests attending.

Zanu PF has been forcing civil servants and members in its structures to bankroll the event.

The nonagenarian has been ruling Zimbabwe for almost 35 years now and his praise singers say they want him to rule until he dies, as there is no deserving successor to take over leadership of his party.

The celebrations come amid a high unemployment rate and more people losing their jobs as companies close.

Businesspeople, companies and parastatals scrambled to place their bids for the president’s birthday while others like teachers were reportedly arm-twisted to contribute from their already small purses to make sure the event is a success.

Dewa Mavhinga, southern Africa senior researcher for Human Rights Watch said the event, which is a permanent feature on the Zanu PF calendar for decades nails Mugabe’s insensitivity to the plight of Zimbabweans.

“Mugabe’s lavish birthday bash has become an irrelevant and extravagant personality cult ritual that shows a measure of insensitivity to the suffering masses of Zimbabwe who are failing to make ends meet,” said Mavhinga.

“How can a leader feast in the midst of squalor and poverty? It shows that our leadership is either totally out of touch with the reality of vicious poverty or simply does not care about the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans.”

To add exquisiteness to the bash, reports indicate that there have been pledges to slaughter two elephants, two buffaloes, two sables, five impalas and a lion  — a move which has angered  conservationists.

Afghanistan-based political analyst, Maxwell Saungweme said this was insensitive and shows misplaced priorities by those in government to even get money from the private sector to hold bashes.

“Getting to 91 is a feat and must be celebrated, that’s given. But celebrations of a birthday should be funded largely from personal coffers. Have you ever wondered why Obama’s birthday is not a big event on US’s national calendar? Does it mean that he does  not celebrate his birthday?”

“In democracies where governments know of their responsibility, people are able to separate personal events and public obligations,” Saungweme said.

Failure to contribute to the jamboree is generally regarded as rebellious and sabotage — labels that have the potential to complicate any individual or company’s prospects of success. A vociferous supporter of Mugabe and former spokesperson of Arthur Mutambara’s MDC, Gabriel Chaibva said the 21st February movement is an initiative which celebrates the life of Mugabe using funds from Zimbabweans who are grateful of his 35-year rule — hence the president has no control over it.

“These celebrations are funded by money from citizens who love him. I’m sure given the chance, our president would divert that money to care of orphans or fix roads but he has no control over it just like when I host a birthday party for my maternal mother. We still raise funds for our social activities,” said Chaibva.

Recently, the nonagenarian fell in full public view at Harare International Airport — leading many to question his physical competence to continue as Zimbabwe’s leader.

Former political advisor to MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, Alex Magaisa, said given Mugabe’s lack of ideas for economic revival, it would be advisable to  hand over power so he can hold intimate celebrations.

“There is no doubt that for better or worse, Mugabe has left a deep imprint on the nation’s history but I think his best years are behind him. He should be looking to hand over the baton to a new generation of leaders”.

He added, “The country’s economic challenges are immense and given the serious problems that ordinary people are facing, it would be more appropriate to hold quiet celebrations. As it is, it suggests a serious level of detachment from the lives and experiences of the ordinary people.”

Nearly 65 percent of Zimbabweans are living below the poverty datum line.

Comments (4)

MUGABE YOU ARE EATING OF A SUFFERING MAN S SWEAT AND WATERING YOUR FLOWERS OF JOY BY THE TEARS OF THE SUFFERING MASSES WHO U ARE CONTINUOUSLY AND IGNORANTLY IMPOVERISHING AT THE EXPENSE OF YOUR GREEDINESS AND RAPACIOSNESS. MAY GOD DEAL ACCORDINGLY WITH YOU,AMEN.

ELVIS - 23 February 2015

please think of your own people and not yourself sir thanks

vimbainashe - 11 May 2015

please think of your own people and not yourself sir thanks

vimbainashe - 11 May 2015

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