Teachers 'forced to contribute to Mugabe bash'
12 February 2014, 18:53
Cape Town - Beleaguered Zimbabwean teachers are reportedly being forced to contribute money towards President Robert Mugabe’s 90th birthday celebrations, which will be held later this month.
Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party is planning to raise at least $1m for the veteran leader’s grand birthday bash.
According to the News Day, teachers in Mashonaland East Province said they had been forced to contribute $2 each towards Mugabe’s birthday bash. But Zanu-PF's spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said he was not aware of the fundraising programme.
Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Raymond Majongwe, however, maintained that members of his union had been approached by Zanu PF activists and ordered to pay the money.
Majongwe said the development was worrying as it had become "a perennial problem". He said teachers should be able to contribute voluntarily, adding "Zanu-PF should put this to a stop".
Mugabe’s birthday falls on 21 February, but the celebrations will be held on 23 February in Marondera.
Mugabe, born in 1924, is the founding father of Zimbabwe and has ruled the country since its independence in 1980. He is by now the oldest head of state in Africa.