Villagers forced to donate for Mugabe's birthday bash – report
05 February 2016, 20:52
Masvingo - Organisers of President Robert Mugabe's 92nd birthday bash are reportedly struggling to raise the proposed $800 000 for the celebrations.
This year's event would be held at Mucheke stadium in Masvingo province on February 28.
According to News Day, the ruling Zanu-PF party youths in the province had resorted to coercing villagers to help fund it.
A human rights advocacy group, Community Tolerance, Reconciliation and Development (Cotrad), alleged that the Zanu-PF youths were forcing villagers to donate $1 per household, while civil servants were being told to donate $3.
"The expensive birthday bash, which is earmarked for Masvingo, is underfunded and the Zanu-PF apparatchiks are now employing thuggish fundraising tactics to raise the money."
Those who resisted faced "unprecedented harassment", Cotrad was quoted saying.
Zanu-PF youth league secretary, Pupurai Togarepi, said they understood the plight of the villagers and would not resort to such tactics.
Togarepi said the party would celebrate the nonagenarian’s birthday, whether they had the money or not.
A group established in 1986 to encourage Zimbabwean youths to emulate the nonagenarian’s selfless character and leadership qualities, the February 21 movement, recently vowed to make the celebrations the biggest of them all.
- News 24