Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe feted with lavish 92nd birthday party

MASVINGO, Zimbabwe -- Calling Robert Mugabe "dear father," "his royal highness," and "the Moses of Africa" members of Zimbabwe's ruling party reasserted their loyalty to the longtime leader at the celebration of his recent 92nd birthday.

See Full Article

By bus, truck and on foot, thousands of Zimbabweans wearing the colours of the ruling ZANU-PF party made their way to the normally sleepy southeastern city of Masvingo to mark Mugabe's birthday.

Mugabe, who has ruled since 1980, let 92 balloons into the air to start the festivities held at the historical Great Zimbabwe monument, about 25 kilometres (15 miles) from downtown Masvingo. During the televised event, school children performed military drills and recited poetry praising Mugabe and criticizing western nations.

Speaking for more than an hour, Mugabe criticized the political jockeying in his party, saying younger members who have spoken out against his wife Grace's growing power must be disciplined.

"It is shameful the way Mrs. Mugabe is being criticized," he said, accusing them of leaking scandals to the press. "Who may be the enemy among us?"

Mugabe also wants his birthday declared a national holiday.

Many supporters wore outfits emblazoned with Mugabe's portrait and feasted on beef and game meat. Political allies from the ruling parties of neighbouring countries took turns to congratulate Mugabe, who led the guerrilla war in the 1970s when this country was white-minority-ruled Rhodesia.

The event, dubbed the 21st February Movement after Mugabe's actual birthday, has been held since 1986. The Zimbabwean president marked his birthday earlier this week in smaller celebrations that included blowing out candles on a multi-tiered cake with gold frosting surrounded by his family and a gala dinner attended the country's elite.

The opposition has criticized the celebrations as insensitive to the many Zimbabweans facing hunger due to drought and a struggling economy. Masvingo province is one of the areas worst hit by a drought that has been declared a disaster.

------

Mutsaka reported from Harare, Zimbabwe.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Even the eyelashes freeze: Russia sees temperatures hit minus 67 C

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW -- Even thermometers can't keep up with the plunging temperatures in Russia's remote Yakutia region, which hit minus 67 degrees Celsius (minus 88.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in some areas Tuesday. In Yakutia -- a region of 1 million people about 3,300 miles (5,300 kilometres) east of Moscow -- students routinely go to school even in minus 40 degrees. Source
  • California mother of 13 children held captive had no idea why police were at her home

    World News CBC News
    California authorities say the mother of 13 children kept locked in filthy conditions was "perplexed" about why police came to their home. At a news conference Tuesday, Riverside County sheriff's Capt. Greg Fellows described the reaction of Louise Turpin, 49, but said he didn't know the reaction of the father, David Turpin, 57. Source
  • P.E.I. government announces retail model and rules for recreational cannabis

    Canada News CTV News
    CHARLOTTETOWN -- The government of Prince Edward Island says it will operate four government-owned retail locations for recreational cannabis and allow online orders for home delivery. Finance Minister Heath MacDonald made the announcement as part of a list of measures being taken by the Island's Liberal government in advance of the legalization of recreational cannabis later this year. Source
  • U.S. withholds $65M in UN aid from Palestinian refugees

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - A U.S. official says the Trump administration is cutting tens of millions of dollars in funding for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, slashing this year's first contribution by more than half. The official says the U.S. Source
  • Alberta MLA apologizes for saying Indigenous people are disengaged in politics

    Canada News CTV News
    EDMONTON - An Alberta legislature member is apologizing for saying Indigenous people don't tend to vote and, when they do engage in politics, they only want to talk to the prime minister. Dave Schneider apologized on Twitter for offending anyone and says he wants everyone to participate in democracy. Source
  • Hassan Diab, Canadian university professor charged with terrorism in France, is back in Canada

    World News CBC News
    Canadian university professor Hassan Diab is back home in Ottawa after a nine-year ordeal that included three years in a French prison on terrorism charges. Canadian officials in Paris issued Diab travel documents as he did not have a valid Canadian passport. Source
  • Halifax RCMP want more officers to handle outlaw biker gangs

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX - The Mounties say prolific growth in the presence of outlaw motorcycle gangs in the Halifax area is behind their request for more front-line officers. RCMP Insp. Robert Doyle says motorcycle gangs including the Gate Keepers, Sedition, Bacchus and the Hells Angels have set up shop in areas between Musquodoboit Harbour and Fall River in recent years. Source
  • Yemen pleads with Saudis for $1B to prevent 'famine'

    World News CTV News
    SANAA, Yemen -- Yemen's prime minister on Tuesday called on the Saudi-led coalition allied with his government to deposit $1 billion in the central bank to save the local currency from "complete collapse." In an emotional letter, Ahmed Obeid bin Daghir called on the coalition to act "now, not tomorrow," and said saving the rial means "saving Yemenis from inevitable famine. Source
  • Restaurant owner apologizes for booting breast-feeding woman

    World News CTV News
    FARGO, N.D. -- The manager of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in North Dakota has apologized for telling a breast-feeding mother to leave. Macy Hornung said she was kicked out of the restaurant in Fargo on Saturday because she was breast-feeding her baby without a cover, even though she said she was being discreet. Source
  • 'Feel like a monster:' Former Young Canadians worker may have crossed the line

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY - A longtime employee of a performance group that entertains at the Calgary Stampede says he "feels like a monster" and may have crossed the line with a number of young, male performers. Philip Heerema, who is 55, is on trial facing 20 charges including child pornography, sexual assault, luring a child via a computer and inciting sexual contact with a youth. Source