ZIMBABWE’s main opposition party, MDC-T, has blasted President Robert Mugabe who turns 91 on Saturday for organising a $1 million birthday bash at a time the economy was teetering on the edge while the majority of citizens were surviving on barely $1 per day.
BY EVERSON MUSHAVA
In a statement yesterday, MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu described the birthday party to be held in Victoria Falls on February 28 as an “obscene jamboree” and called for its cancellation.
“All the money that has been collected to bankroll this obscene jamboree should be immediately channelled towards rehabilitating the collapsed public hospitals, clinics and rural schools in Matabeleland North province [where Victoria Falls is located],” Gutu said.
“Any food items and other materials that have been donated for Mugabe’s birthday bash should be handed over to the Jairos Jiri Centre and other orphanages in Bulawayo.”
A farmer living near Victoria Falls has already donated two elephants and other game meat to help feed the 20 000 delegates likely to attend the event, to be held on the golf course of the plush Elephant Hills Resort.
“The irony of it all is the fact that the bash will be taking place at a time leading economists have since announced that the average incomes in Zimbabwe are now at their lowest in 60 years,” Gutu said.
“The majority of the people of Zimbabwe are living in penury, squalor and destitution and, thus, it would be grossly offensive for Robert Mugabe and a few of his hangers-on to wine and dine at the Mosi-a-Tunya on Saturday, February 28 2015. It is high time that the Zanu PF regime showed some respect and empathy for the toiling masses of Zimbabwe.”
Zimbabwe is currently facing a serious economic meltdown that has been characterised by company closures and job losses.
The MDC-T, other opposition parties and economic analysts have accused Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF party of failing to salvage the economy.
Mugabe has been in power since independence in 1980. His fall earlier this month while descending a podium at Harare International Airport made global headlines. His party insists a bump in the carpet was to blame, not his advanced age.