MDC-T yesterday called for the cancellation of President Robert Mugabe’s birthday bash scheduled to take place in Victoria Falls next week, descirbing the event as an “obscene jamboree”.
Richard Muponde Senior Reporter
The opposition party said in a statement yesterday the money budgeted for the bash should be immediately channelled towards the rehabilitation of collapsed public hospitals, clinics and rural schools in Matabeleland North province.
Mugabe turns 91 on Saturday and as has become the norm, a lavish party has been organised by the 21st February Movement on February 28 where about $1 million would be spent on feting the delegates.
The MDC-T said the majority of the people of Zimbabwe were living in penury, squalor and destitution and it would be grossly offensive for Mugabe and a few of his hangers-on to wine and dine in the resort town.
“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,” part of the statement read.
“As the MDC, we are greatly perturbed to learn that instead of focusing on more serious and pressing national issues such as rehabilitating the country’s collapsed public health delivery system as well as the renovation of the nation’s dilapidated road and rail infrastructure, Zanu PF has seen it fit to squeeze the sum of $1 million from the country’s ailing business sector in order to bankroll the nonagenarian’s birthday jamboree in the resort town of Victoria Falls.”
MDC-T said the absurdity of it all was further compounded by the bizarre demand by the Zanu PF youth league that Mugabe’s birthday be declared a national holiday and said Zimbabwe was not North Korea where the leader’s birthday was deified and celebrated as a public holiday.
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“In a short period of 35 years, Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF have successfully managed to run down and trash a country that was at one time the jewel of Africa,” the party said.
“From being a proud net food exporter and bread basket of Southern Africa at independence in April 1980, Mugabe and Zanu PF have mismanaged the country and in the process they have reduced a once proud nation with a sophisticated mixed economy into a basket case.
“That is the tragic and sad legacy of Robert Mugabe’s rule in Zimbabwe.”
The party said the irony of it all was that the bash would be taking place at a time leading economists have announced that the average incomes in Zimbabwe are now at their lowest in 60 years.
They added that at 91 Mugabe was now a big liability to the people of Zimbabwe for as long as he remained as the county’s head of State.
“It doesn’t need rocket science for one to appreciate that a 91-year-old man belongs to an old people’s home and not to the State House of a nation,” MDC-T said.
“It is high time that the Zanu PF regime showed respect and empathy to the toiling masses of Zimbabwe.”