Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe turns 93 today and on Saturday a lavish party to celebrate his birthday is expected to cost more than $2 million (1.88 million euros).
This year’s celebration of President Robert Mugabe’s 93rd birthday takes place in Matobos southwest of Harare on Saturday. Some Zimbabweans are calling Mugabe to use the money to address the myriad of problems besetting the country while others are planning to celebrate their leader’s birthday.
“We regard President Mugabe’s birth so highly that we take him as second only to Jesus Christ. So his birthday is something we cannot miss as Zimbabweans. We are advocating for that day to be a national holiday,” said one supporter in Harare.
Mugabe has been ruling Zimbabwe since 1980 when the country got its independence from Great Britain. Since then, Zimbabwe has religiously celebrated his birthday.
This year, a coalition of civic organizations called “21 Days of Activism Zimbabwe” told DW that Mugabe should not celebrate his birthday this year.
“We are highlighting key issues that need to be prioritized by government instead of spending millions of dollars on birthday celebrations when currently we have a massive cash crisis that needs to be dealt with,” said Sam Farai Munro, one of the activists in the anti-birthday movement.
“So if the government can fundraise millions, then those millions should be dedicated to fixing up hospitals, or providing books in schools or paying teacher bonuses from last year,” he added.