ZANU PF apparatchiks fell over each other as party leader President Robert Mugabe’s 90th birthday gaieties in Marondera turned into a bootlicking contest after speakers lined up for congratulatory messages used all sorts of superlatives to bootlick the nonagenarian leader.
Setting the tone was Zanu PF Youth Affairs secretary Absalom Sikhosana suggesting Mugabe should assume the grand title “Conqueror of the British Emperor” from the late ex-Ugandan leader Idi Amin Dada.
Idi Amin Dada had several titles to his name and was often referred to as “His Excellency President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea, and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular”.
Mugabe is referred to as “His Excellency, president and first Secretary of Zanu PF, Head of State and government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
“You are the Sadc deputy chairperson and also the AU deputy chairperson. I know of people with titles like Idi Amin Dada who gave himself the title Conqueror of the British Empire, but we celebrate the birthday of the genuine Conqueror of the British Emperor,” Sikhosana gushed.
“They tried one after the other, but failed. We thank you for the manner that you have superintended over affairs of the country and the continent.”
Not to be outdone, Mashonaland East youth chairperson Luckson Kandemiri enthused: “We wish you a happy birthday and 1 000 more years to come and we condemn corruption in all sectors.”
The the Zanu PF youth league later donated a “royal seat” to Mugabe and declared him life president.
Mugabe also received various other gifts which included livestock, cash and household goods. Only two world presidents — Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping — joined in the praise-singing match.