HARARE - President Robert Mugabe turned 92 on Sunday, and from the Zimbabwean leader’s perspective, he has plenty to celebrate: Everyone’s talking about him again.
While addressing Cabinet ministers and guests at his surprise party at State House yesterday, Mugabe indicated that he is no longer surprised by such gatherings.
His official birthday celebrations will be held in Masvingo on Saturday at an estimated cost of $800 000.
The aged leader said after 92 years on earth, very little still surprises him.
“It is no longer a surprise because every year I know that once I strike another birthday, this happens,” he said. “However, I do thank and appreciate your thoughts on behalf of myself and the family. Such thoughts come from the mind and trigger the heart.
“There is so much love that surrounds me and I treasure it because it does not exist in an individual but as a collective. Ninety two years is a long time in this world, you would have seen many things happening domestically and experienced it also.”
He said though the country is celebrating his life, many others like him are dead while the few remaining nonagenarians are not known to the public.
He said though some of his age mates are long dead, he does not feel lonely because of the calibre of people that surround him.
“May I say that as we celebrate this individual person, it is not the sense of loneliness that I have amidst many. You can be very lonely even if you live with many people, but I have not felt that in any way. We have a shared togetherness that comes with interaction,” he said.
The president urged Zimbabweans to sit down and correct each other’s mistakes instead of trying to out-do one another.
As the formalities ended, Mugabe was assisted by his heavily pregnant daughter, Bona Chikore to blow out candles on his birthday cake.
Mugabe was also presented with 30 tonnes of maize meal, 3 500 litres of cooking oil and 750 000kg of sugar beans which he will donate to charities of his choice as well as food insecure communities.