The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has described as ‘obscene’ the party that has been planned by the ruling party, ZANU PF, to celebrate the belated birthday of its nonagenarian leader, Robert Mugabe in which close to a million American dollars will be spent on the 28th of February in the country’s resort town of Victoria Falls.
Speaking to the media amid the frantic preparations for the ‘big bash’, the spokesman for the MDC, Obert Gutu said that it was obscene that the ruling party could be planning such a party for its leader when the economy was at such a downturn. He added that, “All the money that has been collected to bankroll this obscene jamboree should be immediately channeled towards rehabilitating the collapsed public hospitals, clinics and rural schools in Matabeleland North province.” Gutu also suggested that the money collected be used to fix the dilapidated infrastructure like hospitals, roads and schools in Matabeleland North Province, where the town of Victoria Falls is located. The town is named after the world’s largest natural fall which is found there. He further posited that the the food that has been collected be ‘handed over’ to the various orphanages and charities for the disabled around the country.
Last week, it was reported in the state controlled Chronicle newspaper that an unnamed businessman in the province had donated two elephants, two buffalos, two sable antelopes and five impala to be slaughtered for Mugabe’s birthday party. He was quoted as saying that the donation was their way of ensuring that there was a celebratory mood in the province and also of supporting the function.
Robert Mugabe, who turns 91 on Saturday has been in power since 1980 when the country attained its independence from its colonisers, Britain. He is Africa’s oldest leader and is also one of Africa’s longest standing leaders.