Africa’s oldest head of states Robert Mugabe is 90 today Friday 21st February 2014.
The President of Zimbabwe for over 33 years is planning to celebrate with a lavish ceremony which will cost over $1 Million. Robert Mugabe has ruled since the country’s independence in 1980.
The event scheduled to take place at the Rudhaka stadium on Sunday 23rd February 2014, will surpass last year’s celebration where special gold coins were minted and a cake of 89kg was presented to Mugabe.
A spokesperson for Mugabe recently revealed he travelled to Singapore this week for a cataract surgery on his left eye. He is expected to be back for the celebration.
According to The Guardian UK, the costly celebration has been criticised as cultism and hero worship, at a time of heavy job losses and slow economic growth.
The central bank of the country describes it as a “severe and persistent liquidity crunch”, bringing back memories of the financial meltdown in 2009.
The secretary for youth affairs in Mugabe’s political party told reporters that “This is a very special celebration. Turning 90 is no mean feat. You cannot turn 90 years when you are a womaniser, a drunkard or a chain smoker. We will be celebrating the life of a very special person on a very special occasion.”
But the country is currently in a state of financial crisis. “It would be inappropriate for a country’s head of state to have such a lavish and costly celebration at a time when the country is faced with the disaster of flooding and a crumbling economy,” said Dewa Mavhinga, a Zimbabwe researcher at Human Rights Watch.
Tendai Biti, a finance minister also says “The economy is going down and we need to do something about it. The government is clueless and has no idea how to manage it. Things are getting worse every day.”
Well…happy birthday Mugabe.