World’s oldest leader, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, has made good his intention of hosting a lavish celebration to mark his 92nd birthday today, Saturday at a time of untold hardship and spiraling friction over his replacement.
It was gathered that scores of party loyalists, officials and members of the public will be attending a day of concerts, street parades and parties in Masvingo, the south-east of the country.
Speaking to AFP, the spokesperson of the ruling ZANU-PF party said: “Organisers have been working flat-out to ensure the celebrations are a success.”
“Everything is in place and we are looking forward to tremendous events.”
Mugabe, who turned 92 last Sunday, has ruled for 36 years in an era marked by vote-rigging, mass emigration, accusations of human rights abuses and economic decline.
“There is very little to celebrate for a 92-year-old who has presided over the collapse of the economy, reducing the country to a nation of vendors and beggars,” Takavafira Zhou, a political analyst at Masvingo State University, told AFP.
“There will be wining and dining at the venue while all around people are starving.”
Zimbabwe has suffered a series of food crises and hyper-inflation since Mugabe’s land reforms when farms were seized from white farmers for redistribution.
Despite his advanced age and recent speculation over his health, Mugabe has avoided naming a successor, fuelling infighting within ZANU-PF.