By Daniel Chigundu
Controversial pro-democracy and outspoken human rights activist Linda Masarira says the decision by President Robert Mugabe to hold his annual lavish birthday bash when the country is going through trying times is a sign that he is selfish and doesn’t care about people.
President Mugabe who turns 93 years old on the 21st of February 2017 is expected to throw an opulent birthday bash in Matopos under the banner of the 21st February Movement.
Addressing the media during a press conference, Masarira said there was no need for President Mugabe to throw a party when people are suffering and that he should abandon the idea.
“Now we are saying this year he is going to celebrate his birthday in Matopos, in Matabeleland South where they are marginalised, where there are no jobs, that is very inhuman.
“A President should lead the country, a president should care for the welfare of the citizens of Zimbabwe, but the president we have in this country is selfish, greedy and doesn’t care about our welfare.
“And as activists and citizens of Zimbabwe, we have decided to speak out and ensure that the President heed our call that he cannot celebrate his birthday while the masses are suffering,” she said.
This is not the first time that the nonagenarian has a hosted his birthday bash in marginalised and struggling areas in the country.
Last year he threw his 92nd birthday bash in Masvingo which was struggling because of climate change induced droughts and other various economic challenges.
Although most people in the rural areas are surviving on grain sourced by humanitarian organisations and friendly countries, President Mugabe blew around US$6 million on his annual holiday in Singapore with his family and aides.
The birthday bash in Matopos is expected to gobble not less than US$2 million as was the case in Masvingo last year.
Last year Mugabe had one of the largest cakes ever made in the country and comprised of 92 conical towers representing his age and it remains to be seen what the organisers have in plan.
Meanwhile, Linda Masarira and the National Association of Vendors Unions of Zimbabwe (NAVUZ) launched 21 days of activism campaign which leads up to the 21st of February.
Under the campaign, the activists will be focusing on 21 issues affecting the people of Zimbabwe and the first day 1st of February was dedicated to vendors.
Masarira said vendors should not be ill-treated or have their wares confiscated by the ZRP and municipal police because they are helping address issues of employment creation failed by government.
Vendors have literally taken over the streets selling their wares at every available space including street pavements and street corners.
However government and the city of Harare have accused vendors of causing the typhoid outbreak in Harare.