IN PICTURES: Mugabe's 93rd birthday

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Matobo - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe celebrated his 93rd birthday with a lavish party on Saturday attended by thousands of loyalists outside the second city of Bulawayo.

According to AFP, The ruling Zanu-PF party hosted the event for Mugabe, who has held power since 1980 during a reign marked by repression of dissent, vote-rigging and the country's economic collapse.

Now the world's oldest national leader, his actual birthday on Tuesday has been honoured in a week-long extravaganza with state media filled with tributes and praise.

The party - held in a large marquee decorated with portraits of a younger Mugabe - included a feast and several vast birthday cakes, angering some Zimbabweans as the country endures severe food shortages.

One of cakes was shaped like Mugabe's official Mercedes Benz limousine.

Holding the event at a school in Matobo has also riled locals as it is close to where many victims of Mugabe's deadly crackdown on dissidents in the early 1980s are thought to be buried.

At least 20 000 people are believed to have been killed in the massacres by North Korean-trained Zimbabwean troops, according to rights groups.

"This should not be a place for celebration," Mbuso Fuzwayo, spokesperson for the Bulawayo-based campaign group Ibhetshu Likazulu, told AFP.

"The whole area is a crime scene where the bones of victims of the massacres are buried."

See pictures from the birthday celebration below. 

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Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace attend his 93rd Birthday celebrations in Matopos on the outskirts of Bulawayo. Mugabe is defying calls to resign after nearly four decades in power, he has declared will run for office again in 2018 elections. (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, AP)

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President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace, right, share a light moment during his 93rd Birthday celebrations in Matopos on the outskirts of Bulawayo. (AP)

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Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe admires a cake made for his 93rd birthday celebrations hosted at Rhodes Preparatory School in Matopos, Matabeleland South Province. (AFP)

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President Robert Mugabe (C), with his son Robert Jr, smiles at his grandson during his 93rd birthday celebrations. (AFP)

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President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace, right, share a light moment with their grandson during his 93rd Birthday celebrations. (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, AP)

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President Robert Mugabe smiles while attending his 93rd Birthday celebrations with his wife Grace. (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, AP)

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President Robert Mugabe delivers his speech during his 93rd Birthday celebrations in Matopos. (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, AP)

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Zanu- PF party youth wing members carry a 93kg ice-cream cake during the 93rd birthday celebrations of the Zimbabwean president hosted at Rhodes Preparatory School in Matopos, Matabeleland South Province. (AFP) 

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A supporter of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe drives a car with his portrait during his 93rd Birthday celebrations in Matopos on the outskirts of Bulawayo. (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, AP)

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President Robert Mugabe supporters cross a river to attend his 93rd Birthday celebrations in Matopos on the outskirts of Bulawayo. (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, AP)

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