'Robert Mugabe day an insult to Zimbabweans,' - opposition

2017-08-24 13:00
President Robert Mugabe ( Picture: Reuters

President Robert Mugabe ( Picture: Reuters

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Harare – Zimbabwe's main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, led by Morgan Tsvangirai, has expressed "shock and complete disappointment" over a recent decision by government to declare President Robert Mugabe's birthday a holiday. 

In a statement, MDC's Spokesperson Obert Gutu described the decision as an "insult to Zimbabweans", adding that his party would scrap the holiday if elected into power.  

"The MDC would like to join the millions of flabbergasted and exasperated Zimbabweans in expressing our utter shock and complete disappointment at the ridiculous and ludicrous decision to declare Robert Mugabe’s official birthday as a public holiday starting from next year," Gutu said.

According to reports Zimbabwe last week declared Mugabe's birthday on February 21 a national holiday, honouring the veteran politician, who opponents accuse of brutal repression and devastating the economy.

Mugabe has been in power since 1980 when the country gained its independence from colonial Britain.

The declaration came after lobbying by the ruling Zanu-PF party's youth league.

'Insult to Zimbabweans'

"In declaring this day, we would like to highlight to our youths the values and principles so brilliantly displayed by President RG Mugabe which have resulted in an exemplary life that our youths can emulate," Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo was quoted as saying.

But Gutu said his party was "shocked and completely disappointment" at the decision by the ruling Zanu-PF party, whose leader he said was a "despot" who presided over a "dictatorship".

Gutu said that Zimbabweans had "never, ever imagined that the insipidly corrupt and Stalinist Zanu-PF regime would descend to the level of venerating and idolising their tyrannical ruler by declaring his official birthday as a public holiday in Zimbabwe".

He said that his party was calling for the "building of strong national institutions instead of building strong personalities". 

Gutu said the country had already dedicated a national public holiday to the country's heroes who were instrumental during its struggle for independence and therefore there was not need for a Mugabe day.

"Let us hasten to emphasise that Robert Mugabe is not Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe is not Robert Mugabe. This weird and boot–licking concept of reducing Zimbabwe into a personal fiefdom of Robert Mugabe and his family must be condemned in the strongest of terms," said Gutu. 

Read more on:    zanu -pf  |  mdc  |  morgan ­tsvangirai  |  obert gutu  |  robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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