Mugabe gets endless birthday gifts

HARARE - During his mega birthday celebrations in the resort town of Matobo, President Robert Mugabe was feted with giant cakes, his supporters ate game meat and drank choice-ales, but almost three months on, the presents continue pouring in for the 93-year-old.

Last week, Mugabe received an eight carat gold watch, a massage or special chair and loads of other presents from not only his ministers, but also from a few in the thriving informal sector.

Mugabe’s “band of bootlickers” even want February 21, the day he was born, to be declared a national holiday.

Jimayi Muduvuri, the Zanu PF central committee member and founder of Macsherp Investments, which presented Mugabe with rice and cooking oil as birthday gifts before last Wednesday’s politburo meeting, said “without Mugabe, Zimbabwe is like a face without a nose”.

“We are here because of that man. People are living well because of the empowerment we received from the president. We will never get another person like him. The birthday has never been private and we are saying as Zimbabweans, that it is a cause, which is why we presented him with the presents. It was a short notice, which is why we brought just a few items.

“I can tell you, if he is not there, Africa can collapse, the man is the symbol of Africa. He should be made the president of Africa to advance our interests against the British,” Muduvuri gushed.

Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme said for Mugabe to continue to receive birthday gifts for an anniversary that was held in February is “totally crass”.

“Bootlicking must have some ‘decency’. But continuing with birthday wishes, months later, for a nonagenarian who ran down the country is outlandish, eccentric and blasé,” Saungweme said.

Mugabe, Africa’s oldest leader at 93, has led the former British colony since independence in 1980.

His critics say he has presided over the destruction of a once-promising country with policies such as the seizures of white-owned farms; his government blames foreign powers for sabotaging the economy and stirring unrest.

The raw statistics are damning. Under Mugabe’s watch, the economy is teetering on the brink; the country has no currency of its own and is plagued by cash shortages.

According to the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), less than 700 000 people of the country’s 13 million population are formally employed and thousands of Zimbabweans have lost their jobs as companies battle to stay afloat.

MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu told the Daily News on Sunday that Mugabe should have seen the irony when he got a watch and a massage chair from his ministers, who in hush-hush tones and far from the madding crowds and government spies are preparing for a post-Mugabe era.

“Zimbabwe will remain locked in a political and socio-economic hellhole as long as the nonagenarian Mugabe remains at the helm as President,” Gutu said.

Mugabe was confirmed by supporters at a party conference in December as his party’s sole candidate for the next presidential election in 2018, when he will be 94.

In his 93rd birthday interview, he claimed Zimbabwe’s people and the ruling Zanu PF party see no viable alternative candidate to him for general elections in 2018.

“They want me to stand for elections, they want me to stand for elections everywhere in the party ... The majority of the people feel that there is no replacement, successor who to them is acceptable, as acceptable as I am,” he said in February.

“The people, you know, would want to judge everyone else on the basis of ...Mugabe as the criteria.”

But it is clear that many are disenchanted by his rule — but there is no doubt there is a large constituency that feels Mugabe is the messiah, like Muduvuri.

“We are solidly behind our president. Who can stand against him in this country? Hapana, (no one) he is a true hero for the nation and beyond,” said Muduvuri.

Indeed the special chair that Mugabe received from his ministers appears to be in sync with what his influential wife and First Lady Grace Mugabe said when she claimed even from a wheelchair the nonagenarian would rule the country.

Social commentator Rejoice Ngwenya said what makes Mugabe tick is the band of hangers-on who want him to continue so that they persist with their looting spree.

“Despots have pockets of choreographed cult worshipers routinely dispatched to give an impression of popular love.

“Even Grace doesn’t love him, because if she did, she would not expose him to ridicule,” Ngwenya said.

Comments (1)

Muduvuri, February 21 has been known since 1980 as the birthday for the president, you donate rice and chicken and blame it on short notice?!

Sinyo - 10 April 2017

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