Cape Town – A rights group has reportedly criticised Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s planned lavish 90th birthday celebrations, as the country faces a crumbling economy.
Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party was reported to be planning to raise at least $1m for the veteran leader’s “grand” birthday bash.
The celebrations were set to be held in Marondera on 23 February.
But according to The Guardian, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said it would be inappropriate for the head of state to have such a costly celebration at a time “when the country is faced with the disaster of flooding and a crumbling economy”.
Dewa Mavhinga, a Zimbabwe researcher at HRW said the celebrations were about “cultism, hero worship, institutionalising Mugabe, with sycophants around him trying to oil the wheels of patronage".
Mugabe is currently in Singapore for a medical operation but his spokesperson George Charamba maintained that he would be back in time for the birthday celebrations.
The event is set to be attended by thousands of party supporters and according to The Zimbabwe Mail, liberation movements from the SADC region had already confirmed their attendance.
Zanu-PF’s National Secretary for Youth Affairs Absolom Sikhosana said Swapo from Namibia, Frelimo from Mozambique, ANC from South Africa and Chama Cha Mapinduza were the liberation movements set to grace the occasion.
Sikhosana said the celebrations were going to be “a very successful event and a befitting function to celebrate the life of a man who has steadfastly defended the values of the liberation struggle”.