Sapa
1 minute read
21 Feb 2015
3:36 pm

Zim state media praises Mugabe on birthday

Sapa

The official Herald newspaper in Zimbabwe published a special 91st birthday supplement on Saturday, thick with congratulatory messages to one of Africa's oldest presidents Robert Mugabe.

FILE PICTURE: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace. (Photo: GCIS)

“He marches on, he fights on, he is Robert Mugabe and he is a remarkable 91 years today,” the paper described the long-time leader in a 16-page supplement.

Calling Mugabe the “quintessential leader of Zimbabwe”, the Herald said he had “royal blood” in him and had “championed the upliftment of the majority by providing quality education that has made Zimbabwe the most literate nation in Africa”.

He was pictured on the front of the supplement in a file photo with his 49-year-old wife Grace, who was named head of the ruling party’s women’s league in December and is believed to harbour her own much higher political ambitions.

Mugabe has been in power since independence in 1980.

Adverts were inserted by a slew of struggling state-run companies, including the national power company, Zesa, which is responsible for increasing blackouts, and the University of Zimbabwe, which last year controversially awarded Grace Mugabe a PhD after an apparent three months of study.

The lands ministry told the president it appreciated “your visionary leadership in ensuring the empowerment of ordinary citizens through access to land”.

Mugabe’s birthday party will take place on February 28.

Zanu-PF party spokesman Simon Khaya Moyo rubbished claims that the bash will cost a million US dollars.

“Even if our sponsors were able to raise trillions of dollars to celebrate his iconic leadership that would still be inadequate to show our appreciation for this extraordinary and amazing man,” he reportedly told the Bulawayo-based Chronicle.