Mugabe hosts lavish private birthday party

HARARE - “Don’t party and tell,” might be the new Blue Roof motto.

Organisers remained tight-lipped on a private 94th birthday party held at former president Robert Mugabe’s plush palace, dubbed “Blue Roof” in Harare’s Borrowdale suburb yesterday, with guests reportedly immersed in luxury, far away from the pain and suffering he left for ordinary people in the cash-strapped nation.

Mugabe, a despot who led the impoverished southern African nation for the past 37 years and was toppled in a soft coup in November after trying to pave the way for his younger wife Grace to seize power, was replaced with his former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The teetotaller has been ensconced in his lavish mansion since his ouster.

Since Mugabe left power, the government has declared his February 21 birthday a public holiday, dubbed Robert Gabriel Mugabe Youth Day.

This year, the day passed without ceremony or the big cakes and gifts he used to be feted with, perhaps prompting him to throw  himself the private party yesterday.

The Daily News on Sunday drilled Louisa Nyanhongo, one of the organisers named on the invitation card, for details on the black-tie, star-studded event.

She initially said she would call back. Efforts to reach her later were futile as she was no longer taking our calls.

When the Daily News on Sunday crew  arrived at the palatial mansion fenced off from the public and protected by a multi-million dollar security system, security details first directed our news crew to a nearby Zaoga Church to get a parking disc.

There was loud music booming from the palace, and some cars parked outside.

Only those with invitation cards were eligible to get a disc and then enter the extravagant property, decked with marble floors, expensive chandeliers and a swimming pool.

The Daily News on Sunday understands there were dozens of carefully selected guests in attendance at the private event, including business executives and an assemblage of politicians.

Nyanhongo said she will never release that sure-to-be-glamorous guest list at any point.

It is understood the Mugabes paid for the party out of their own pocket.

A senior Munhumutapa official said: “The former president and his wife did hold a private party at the Blue Roof, but given the private nature of that event, I don’t have a lot of details to discuss from here.”

The lavish party is all the more surprising given that Mugabe on Monday gave a “scathing brief” to African Union Commission (AU) chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat at his Blue Roof mansion that he was being denied his emoluments by Mnangagwa.

A privately-owned business and financial weekly, the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper, reported on Friday that Mugabe told Mahamat that his benefits were “being denied”.

Mnangagwa  had said Mugabe will be entitled to a residence, a car fleet and private air travel as part of a new government-funded retirement package for former leaders, and at least 20 staffers including six personal security guards, all paid for from State coffers, and allowances and pension, according to details of the benefits published in a Government Gazette.

Mnangagwa assured the African Union heads of State summit in Addis Ababa last month that Mugabe was well and safe.

“May I inform this august chamber that, your brother, president Mugabe is safe, secure and well,”  Mnangagwa said to applause, adding that it was his duty as leader of the current administration in Zimbabwe to preserve Mugabe’s legacy as the founding father of the country.

But Mugabe told Mahamat: “It’s not like I am crying for those benefits. I joined the struggle to fight to free my people, not to personally benefit anything, but why deny me benefits that I am constitutionally entitled to?”

Mugabe also told  Mahamat that his wife is being harassed and cries daily.

“They told you I was safe, but how can I be in this environment? My wife is crying daily. They are persecuting her… What am I without my wife and family? We are not safe.”

Asked why Mugabe was being denied his emoluments, presidential  spokesperson George Charamba told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday: “I can’t comment on a leaked document.” 

Comments (8)

Well, Sir, your heartless wife has a lot of explaining to do. Ask her to take a chill pill-more chilling stuff is coming her way. If you take her current experiences as persecution, well, Sir, tough luck indeed. You persecuted and killed us, the ordinary people, we cried, for more than 20 years and almost every family has at least a beloved member in the diaspora on account of your sadistic persecution. You don't deserve any sympathy at all. Sir, I wish you the worst when you finally meet the Creator.

Changamire Dombo - 25 February 2018

Die, you fool. What are you waiting for?

Kim Joao - 25 February 2018

Ko Mubvandiripo makamusiirei ko?

dick mboko - 26 February 2018

Robert Mugabe you are an ungrateful old man! You ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist and in that fist you unfolded suffering, hunger and desperation. Words of advise here... when your deep in shit its best to keep your mouth shut. Advice to ED, Please revoke the benefits extended to Robert Mugabe, he has already consumed his pension. Further all those who attended his birthday party are clearly the people who aided him destroy Zimbabwe and they must be investigated for their efforts. I was weary to hear that forgiveness was offered to Robert and those who perpetrated crimes against the people, non of this sort should be advanced until we the people have closure to issues that this man Robert created! Its a bad precedence to forgive the guilty before they are brought before a credible court. Hence Obert Mpofu's attitude, rather the thief was rewarded by being in charge of the Police..... Stranger than fiction.....

Mackenzie - 26 February 2018

Robert Mugabe you are an ungrateful old man! You ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist and in that fist you unfolded suffering, hunger and desperation. Words of advise here... when your deep in shit its best to keep your mouth shut. Advice to ED, Please revoke the benefits extended to Robert Mugabe, he has already consumed his pension. Further all those who attended his birthday party are clearly the people who aided him destroy Zimbabwe and they must be investigated for their efforts. I was weary to hear that forgiveness was offered to Robert and those who perpetrated crimes against the people, non of this sort should be advanced until we the people have closure to issues that this man Robert created! Its a bad precedence to forgive the guilty before they are brought before a credible court. Hence Obert Mpofu's attitude, rather the thief was rewarded by being in charge of the Police..... Stranger than fiction.....

Mackenzie - 26 February 2018

Mudiwa Robert enda unotora nyika yawakapa ED na Auxillia otherwise ndinozvisungirira (sob sob).

Jaikolu Maison - 26 February 2018

Mudiwa Robert enda unotora nyika yawakapa ED na Auxillia otherwise ndinozvisungirira (sob sob).

Jaikolu Maison - 26 February 2018

Comrade RTG Mugabe, you should be very grateful that you have ED whom you had taught all the political traits to stitch the garment the same you have been doing in the past but surely you deserve more of that kind of treatment so that you feel how bad this were during your tenure of office. You have yourself to blame than just to cry fowl as you failed to address your wife for at least better behaviour and respect for ED and other senior citizens. Makachera gomba mega mukuru. Just stop all your nonsense and leave ED and his administration for now. We would be ok with him for a change although you are two small pieces of cloths from one garment. It is very surprising hearing you complaining about the so called soldiers to have ousted you this time but you do not even have guts to tell us how the same soldiers kept you in power as an illegitimate president when Tsvangirai Morgan had won. What a shame RTG

Eladios Tsvangirai - 2 March 2018

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