Broke ministries splash on Mugabe’s Birthday

mugabe_birthdayHARARE - MANY broke government ministries this week dug deeper into their begging bowls and splashed full colour advertisements in the state-controlled The Herald newspaper congratulating President Robert Mugabe (Pictured) on his 87th birthday.

President Mugabe has been single-handedly at the helm of Zimbabwe’s political affairs since the country became independent on April 18, 1980. Most of his fellow President friends have either passed on or have retired from active politics.

They include Dr Kenneth Kaunda (Zambia), Joachim Chissano (Mozambique), Sam Nujoma (Namibia), Nelson Mandela (South Africa) and the late Dr Kamuzu Banda (Malawi). Ministiries that booked colour advertising space in the newspaper on Monday included that of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development, currently led by the wealthy Dr Ignatious Chombo.

Chombo is a Member of Parliament (MP) for Zvimba where President Mugabe’s rural home is located. “May the Lord continue to bless You!,” the advert read. The Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs led by Patrick Chinamasa also threw in its support for the President, pointing out that it “continues to be inspired and guided by His Excellency’s illustrious and visionary leadership. We wish him many more!” Not to be outdone was the Ministry of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion, under young MDC-T economist, Tapiwa Mashakada.

The National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (NIEEB) also chipped in with an advert and so did FT Travel (Private) Limited, Africa University, the Harare Municipal Medical Aid Society and the Zimbabwe Newspapers (1980) Limited Group, who publish The Herald and The Sunday Mail in their stable. Telephone network operator, TelOne (Private) Limited (TelOne) also placed an advertisement pointing out the HE “brings people together like them”.

The President of the Senate, Edna Madzongwe from Zanu PF and the Speaker of Parliament, Lovemore Moyo from the MDC-T, were also not left out, saying they hoped God would “continue to give Mugabe strength, good health and wisdom to be an example to the younger generation as they benefit from the country’s independence”. However, the largest advertisement was placed by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Infratsructural Development, under presidential confidante, Nicholas Goche.

The advert covered almost half the page. Members from the christian world were also not left out as the Apostolic Chrisian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) chipped in with a small one. President Mugabe has been seen in Apostolic garb on several occasions “wooing” members from the sect to join his Zanu PF party at a time when membership is tricky.

The Zimbabwe Institute of Diplomacy and mining concern, Zimbabwe Alloys Limited Group of Companies (ZimAlloys) also advertised. Mugabe turned 87 years old on Monday. He had, meanwhile, returned from an overseas trip where he sought treatment for his eyes.

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