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With country's economy in ruins Mugabe plans 'lavish $1mln birthday bash'

Harare, Sat, 18 Feb 2012 ANI

Harare, Feb 18 (ANI): Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is all set to have a near million-dollar birthday bash when he turns 88 next week, at a time when most people in his country are scavenging for food and millions are unemployed following years of economic and political strife.


Mugabe will be joined by hundreds of guests from his ruling Zanu-PF party at the extravaganza in the eastern city of Mutare on February 21.


According to the South African Mail and Guardian newspaper, 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 dubbed the 'Bob 88 Super Cup.'


Mugabe's birthday plans have been dubbed the '21st February Movement' by his supporters to mark the date in 1924 on which he was born.


According to the report, provinces around the country have been forced to donate money to help pay for the bash.


"Over the past two months the provinces have been chipping in with "donations" to make the big day a memorable one for Mugabe," the report said.


According to The Daily Mail, this year his birth anniversary will also be marked by a string of demonstrations around the world against his rule.


Campaigners plan to hold protests outside Zimbabwean embassies next Tuesday in Britain, America, South Africa and several European capitals. They have been organised by campaigners on behalf of the five million Zimbabweans now living overseas.


Mugabe, who has held power for three decades since Zimbabwe gained its independence from Britain in 1980, been accused of orchestrating horrific human rights abuses and state-sponsored murders to maintain his grip on power.


His birthday comes as he is believed to be preparing for fresh elections in Zimbabwe. (ANI)


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