Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe’s extravagant birthday plans drew harsh criticism as the country grapples with widespread drought and hunger.
The President marked his 92nd birthday on Sunday with private celebrations, while public celebrations will be held on February 27 in the eastern city of Masvingo, a stronghold of Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party.
Though political leaders would not divulge the budget for this year’s party, in previous years the event has cost up to $1 million for transportation, accommodation and food for thousands of guests.
Ruling party politicians and businesspeople paid from $5,000 to $100,000 for a table of 10 at a dinner on Friday night to raise funds for the birthday festivities.
According to Tongai Kasukuwere, a member of the ruling Zanu-PF party’s youth wing and the event organiser, the dinner was sold out.
“To be able to mobilise resources to honour one of Africa’s finest icons during such a difficult time proves our resilience,” he added.
The southern Africa country is currently struggling with a drought that has left more than 3 million people reliant on food aid.