Go ahead and celebrate

It seems for the well-heeled and well-connected all roads led to Mutare on Tuesday for the spectacle that was President Robert Mugabe’s birthday bash.

We were able to see who’s who at the feeding trough as the portly guests squeezed out of their British or German luxury, taxpayer-funded automobiles into Sakubva Stadium, bang in the centre of a suburb where most of the residents did not know where their next meal would come from.

In a country where most people are dependent on Western food aid, hospitals are short of drugs, the supply of safe drinking water is sporadic, leading to all sorts of preventable diseases, and jobs are as rare as hen’s teeth, it is difficult to justify such extravagance.

Those seen gorging themselves on food and wine most Zimbabweans can only dream about were the fatcats who drove to Mutare in their fuel-guzzlers. We were told that about $1million was spent on the extravaganza, not including the fuel and hotel expenses.

What has all that achieved? How has Zimbabwe benefited from this day?

We would have thought the leader of a country where so many are suffering, would have donated this money to a hospital or some charity for the benefit of those less than fortunate than himself. Imagine if all the money that has been blown on Mugabe’s birthday celebrations every year were to go to some worthy cause.

We urge our future leaders not to follow this bad example. We don’t begrudge an old man celebrating his birthday. In fact 88 years, particularly by Zimbabwean standards, is quite an achievement and ought to be celebrated. But not like this. Not in Zimbabwe. Not now.

Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga
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  1. Wilbert Mukori

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