Robert Mugabe turns 88 on Feb. 21 and, as has become tradition, will celebrate in tremendous style with literally millions being spent on ensuring the dictator has a day to remember. Meanwhile, the people of Zimbabwe are starving and dying.
As Robert Mugabe reaches his 88th birthday, he continues to mock foreign media and governments pointing out that he is "as fit as a fiddle". News24 reports that the Zimbabwean leader, in power since 1980, has laughed at rumours that he is ill, possibly with prostate cancer. "The day will come when I will become sick," Mugabe, who is Africa's oldest ruler, said in an interview on state-owned Radio Zimbabwe on the eve of his birthday. As of now I am fit as a fiddle." He dismissed reports of his frequent visits to Singapore for medical treatment, saying that it was for cataract treatment.
Meanwhile the party celebrations are being prepared with the big bash to take place on Saturday Feb. 25. The Zimbabwe Mail reports that around US $1 million will be spent on the lavish event:
"The Zimbabwean president will be joined by hundreds of guests from his ruling Zanu-PF party at the extravaganza in the eastern city of Mutare. Provinces around the country have been forced to dip into their coffers to help pay for the bash, which is expected to cost around $1million, or £630,000. The event will feature a giant birthday cake, multi-course meals, a music gala featuring top Zimbabwean artists, a beauty pageant and a soccer tournament."NewsDay reports that the opposition MDC party, whilst congratulating Mugabe on his birthday, also wishes to remind him of the millions of suffering Zimbabweans:
“While the MDC wishes Robert Mugabe a happy birthday, we pray that may the Lord open his eyes so that he may see his political irrelevance and reveal to him the goodness of retirement as the nation has already lost patience on his 32 years of misrule,” said MDC spokesperson Kurauone Chihwayi in a statement yesterday."
Mugabe plans to stand again in the next elections as the Zanu-PF candidate, despite his age, insisting that he is the right candidate to continue to lead his country. He has suggested that the elections will take place this year. The country is currently run by a shaky coalition between the Zanu-PF and MDC parties. In the past, people who have stood up to Mugabe have suddenly 'disappeared' or had accidents.
After 32 years of this dictatorship, many people may wonder why the people of Zimbabwe don't stand up for themselves and fight back as has been seen in the so-called 'Arab Spring' in North Africa. However, there is no oil in Zimbabwe and the diamonds and precious metals seem to not be enough to encourage the world to help the people. With no hope of assistance from a seemingly blind world, no food, severe drought in the southern Matabeleland province, a rampant AIDS epidemic, typhoid, cholera and other major problems, the people don't have the strength to fight back.
While Mugabe is stuffing down birthday cake, his country is literally dying in front of his eyes. He is a modern day Nero and like the ancient Roman, will one day fall. Ishe Komborera Zimbabwe (God Bless Zimbabwe).
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com