Zimbabwe opposition wants Mugabe birthday bash cancelled
Zimbabwe’s main opposition party has demanded that President Robert Mugabe call off his 91st birthday party scheduled for later this month. Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe for 35 years, turns 91 this Saturday.
His birthday bash will take place a week later in Zimbabwe's best-known tourist resort of Victoria Falls.
But the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says that holding a lavish party at a time when the country’s economy is in crisis is wrong.
MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu called Mugabe's party an “obscene jamboree”.
A 91-year-old man would be better off in an old-age home, he suggested in comments that are almost certain to anger Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF.
The birthday party is to be held at a golf course in one of the plushest hotels in Victoria Falls and organisers are going all out to make it one of the best the president's supporters will remember.
Zanu-PF hasn't confirmed press reports that it will cost more than 870,000 euros, much of that raised through donations.
The party is holding fund-raising dinners around the country.
Members of Zimbabwe’s struggling business community have said they've been asked to part with up to 175 euros for a plate of food.
The MDC says the funds raised should be donated to collapsed schools and clinics in Matabeleland North province, where the Victoria Falls are located.