via Give $800k b-day cash to food aid, Bob told – NewZimbabwe 18/12/2016
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has been challenged to show compassion for the starving masses by donating cash being raised for his lavish 92nd birthday bash next month towards sourcing for food.
The Zanu PF youth league has set in motion plans to raise $800,000 for the nonagenarian’s birthday celebrations which will this year be held in Masvingo, a province which is among those worst hit by the current drought.
Meanwhile, families worst affected by the famine have turned to eating tree roots and selling their livestock for a song in a desperate effort to survive.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president and Masvingo-based academic Takavafira Zhou felt it would be in bad taste for the Zimbabwean leader visit the province to throw lavish treat in the midst of hunger.
“It only reflects the level of madness and lack of priorities in the country,” Zhou said, in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com Monday.
He urged the Zimbabwean leader, who is currently out in the Far East on yet another expensive excursion, to follow Tanzanian President John Magufuli’s efforts.
“I think we must copy from Tanzania President,” Zhou said.
“Our president needs a few tutorials with the Tanzanian President so that we could convert that money into useful use by buying food that should be distributed on non-partisan grounds, or channelling that money to paying civil servants bonuses or even the health sector.”
The new Tanzanian leader has quickly endeared himself with his people after introducing a raft of cost cutting measures which included a ban of unnecessary foreign visits by government officials as well as scrapping independence day celebrations to allow funds to be channelled towards fighting a cholera disaster in his country.
President Mugabe’s opponents have, likewise, taken umbrage with the veteran leader’s propensity to blow hundreds of thousands on a birthday bash when the nation was suffering from the effects of natural and manmade disasters.
MDC spokesperson Kurauone Chihwayo described the Zimbabwean leader and his people as insensitive for putting a birthday party ahead of the needs of the nation.
“The MDC is greatly concerned with the endless looting of state coffers by the tired regime to finance lavish birthday parties for the first family,” Chuhwayi said.
“The criminal raid of local authorities and state enterprises by the Mugabe government is of major concern to the jobless and hungry Zimbabwean family.
“The nation is facing a life threatening hunger that is likely to sweep both livestock and human beings while Mugabe feasts in and outside Zimbabwe.”
PDP spokesperson Jacob Mafume also condemned the practice but quickly conceded this was now the nature of the president.
“For people to expect Mugabe and his people to do logical and sensible things is like looking for fish on a tree,” he said.
“This party has gone mad. The height of lunacy is unparalleled in the history of nations.
“That they have no conscience, that they cannot suspend some of these festivities, that they have been celebrating over and over again is a testament of their insensitivity towards the suffering of the Zimbabwean nation and its people.”