Happy birthday: Mr. Mugabe

President Robert Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since the country gained independence from Britain in 1980.

Zimbabwe implodes. But Robert Mugabe’s supporters are preparing the dictator’s 84th birthday on Saturday (born 21 February 1924).

Balloon demo crashes Mugabe birthday party (2008)

While Zimbabwe starves, Mugabe spends millions on his birthday party. It is the 85th birthday of President Mugabe this month and the zealots of his Zanu (PF) party are determined that it should be an occasion that their great leader will never forget.

– Slideshow: A nation in decline (msnbc)

In recent days they have been out soliciting “donations” from corporate Zimbabwe and have drawn up a wish list that is scarcely credible in a land where seven million citizens survive on international food aid, 94 per cent are jobless and cholera rampages through a population debilitated by hunger. The birthday list includes:

2,000 bottles of champagne (Moët & Chandon and ’61 Bollinger). 500 bottles of whisky (Johnny Walker Blue Label, 22-year-old Chivas). 8,000 lobsters. 100kg king prawns. 3,000 ducks. 4,000 portions of caviar. 8,000 boxes of Ferrero Rocher.
16,000 eggs. 3,000 cakes (chocolate and vanilla). 4,000 packs of pork sausages.
500kg cheese. 4,000 packets of crackers.

– Its not the first time Mugabe spends millions on his birthday party. Related stories:

2004: Defiant Mugabe celebrates his birthday

2005: Mugabe marks 81st birthday

2006: Splash of Z$10 billion on Mugabe’s Birthday

2007: Mugabe feasts – as his people starve and his party plots

2008: Zimbabwe’s Mugabe prepares for birthday bash

2009: Row over Mugabe birthday funds

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Morgan Tsvangirai, founder of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), in “Freedom for Zimbabwe:”- Economic mismanagement by Mr. Mugabe’s government is an serious problem. Zimbabwe’s inflation and unemployment rates are 150,000% and 80% respectively. Infrastructure is crumbling, and education and health-care systems have collapsed (…)

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