Zimbabweans Starve While Zanu PF Will Spend US$800,000 On Mugabe’s 93rd Birthday

THE ruling Zanu-PF party is reportedly planning to splash at least $800 000 on President Robert Mugabe’s 92nd birthday bash to be held in the drought-stricken Masvingo province next month.

Zanu-PF secretary for finance Obert Mpofu yesterday declined to comment over the banquet, referring all questions to the party national youth finance secretary Tongai Kasukuwere.

“The event is being organised by the Youth League and they have a secretary for finance who is handling all the fundraising and the budget. Talk to him, he should give you the details,” Mpofu said.

Kasukuwere said they were still finalising the budget for the annual jamboree, with various State enterprises, individuals and party structures expected to bankroll the festivities slated for February 28.

“We are still finalising the budget because we are still waiting for all departments to draft their own budgets before we could incorporate it into the main budget for the celebrations,” Kasukuwere said.

However, party insiders who spoke on condition of anonymity said the birthday celebrations were expected to cost $770 000 – a figure big enough to import large quantities of maize to feed thousands of starving villagers in several parts of the country who were bearing the brunt of this year’s El-Nino-induced drought.

The host province – Masvingo – has, according to the party’s provincial commissar Jappy Jaboon, been tasked to raise $100 000 for Mugabe’s birthday bash despite facing acute food shortages, where most villagers were reportedly surviving on wild fruit, while over 5 000 cattle have succumbed to drought.

Jaboon said the other nine provinces would raise $30 000 apiece, while the national team headed by Zanu-PF Youth League secretary Pupurayi Togarepi was given a target of at least $400 000.

Zanu-PF last year spent over $1 million in food, transport and accommodation for its delegates in Victoria Falls, with farmers in Matabeleland North province donating cattle and wildlife, among other goodies, to pamper the veteran politician, who is seeking to extend his term of office by another five years in 2018. source-newsday

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