PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe celebrates his 90th birthday today and as usual there will be some extravagancy surrounding the day.
Last year, the 21st February Movement spent a fortune in throwing a party for Mugabe who seems to enjoy the cultism that has become associated with his birthday.
Special gold coins were minted for him and a cake that was said to weigh 89kg was presented to him.
That year, aid agencies said close to half of Zimbabwe’s population was food insecure. Thousands had lost their jobs and could therefore hardly provide for their families.
On Sunday, thousands of Mugabe’s die hard supporters would converge at Rudhaka Stadium in the town of Marondera for yet another feast. Zanu PF has indicated that the party would surpass other lavish celebrations we have seen in the past because it considers the 90th birthday a major milestone. However, there are some who are questioning the extravagance in the midst of the intensifying economic problems bedevilling the country.
Zimbabwe is witnessing unprecedented company closures and job losses due to the deteriorating economic situation.
At the beginning of this school term it was revealed that as many as one million vulnerable children could be forced to drop out of school because the government had failed to finance the Basic Education Assistance Module(Beam).
Beam has already been suspended for children with special needs and the consequences of this move are just too dire to contemplate.
An entire generation is about to be lost here.
As if this was not enough thousands of families have been displaced by flooding on the Tokwe-Mukosi Dam basin and are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. The government has taken its begging bowl to the international community seeking over $20 million to help the victims.
It is therefore, very inconsiderate to be holding a birthday celebration of this magnitude at a time when the country is clearly burning.
For once Mugabe can put the people first and divert all those goodies meant for Marondera on Sundayto alleviate the plight of the Masvingo villagers whose plight was caused by neglect blamed on his government.
Better still part of the money that has been mobilised for this feast could be used to ensure that Beam beneficiaries go to school this year.