Harare - President Robert Mugabe has been challenge to donate the money raised for his upcoming 92nd birthday bash to help source food for the poor in Zimbabwe, a report said on Tuesday.
According to New Zimbabwe, a teachers union urged Mugabe to put the $800 000 set to be raised for his birthday party into good use by securing food for Zimbabweans who are facing acute food shortages.
Zimbabwe is reportedly facing widespread food shortages, with the situation said to be critical in the country’s rural areas, following a dry season.
According to statistics, over one million people are faced with hunger.
President Mugabe who is currently on his annual holiday in the Far East would be celebrating his birthday on February 28, at Mucheke stadium in Masvingo, with the organisers taunting that they plan to make this year’s celebrations the biggest of them all.
But the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe said it would be "embarrassing" for the nonagenarian to hold a "lavish party" in Masvingo as the province is one of the southern African nation's hardest hit areas by drought.
The union said Mugabe should take a leaf from his Tanzanian counterpart president John Mugafuli’s who has caused waves for cleaning up the rot in his country.
"... Our president needs tutorial with the Tanzanian president so that we could convert that money into useful use by buying food that should be distributed on non-partisan grounds, or channelling that money to paying civil servants bonuses or even the health sector," the union president, Takavafira Zhou, was quoted saying.
Mugabe is known for hosting lavish birthday bashes, despite the southern African country having economic problems.
For his 91st birthday celebrations last year, Mugabe spent at least $1m, with various businesses and prominent people donating for the bash.