- Southern Africa
Zimbabwe: Mugabe praised ahead of 86th birthday
In a rare move the Movement for Democratic Change has lavished praise on one of the oldest and longest serving African rulers, President Robert Muagbe ahead of his 86th birthday.
Mugabe turns 86 on Sunday and appears active and mentally alert.
Through its chairman Lovemore Moyo, MDC described Mugabe as “a torchbearer” and praised him for his “illustrious life of dedication and commitment to justice”.
But the congratulatory note was jointly sent by Moyo who is the speaker of parliament and senate speaker from Zanu PF.
Reads the note: “The Speaker of the House of Assembly Hon Lovemore Moyo and President of the Senate Hon Edna Madzongwe would like to congratulate His Excellency President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Cde RG Mugabe for turning 86 years.
“Revered by friends and foe alike, you are well known for your unwavering principles and fierce commitment to redressing colonial injustices.
“The consolidation of the gains of the revolution requires that we leave no room for complacency and that we emulate your illustrious life of dedication and commitment to justice” the note went further.
Mugabe is described as “a torchbearer of African self determination, an embodiment of black empowerment and an icon for the emancipation of the majority”.
However, political commentators say Moyo’s praise is meant to “ease political tensions” with the coalition government.
Meanwhile, massive celebrations- set to last two days are meticulously planned for next weekend.
A target of US$500 000 for the celebrations that will be held under the theme: "Promoting Unity in Defence of Natural Resources, Cultural Values and Economic Empowerment" has been set.
An all night musical gig is planned for Friday.
State television has announced that the celebrations, to be held at the Trade Fair grounds in Bulawayo will start at 6 pm on February 26 and end at 6am the following day.
"The gala will feature all major local as well as some foreign musicians from the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa," said Retired Major Anywhere Mutambudzi, a spokesman for the team arranging the party.