From Walter Mswazie in Masvingo
CELEBRATIONS to mark President Robert Mugabe’s 92nd birthday got underway in Masvingo yesterday with a street party which saw thousands of people participating in a march through the city. The marchers walked from Mucheke Bus terminus to Benjamin Burombo Government Offices before a dancing display at the Civic Centre.
The Miss 21st February Movement beauty pageant, in which Zanu-PF beauties from the country’s ten provinces parade for the crown, was scheduled to be held at the Masvingo Polytechnic late last night.
President Mugabe and his family are due in Masvingo tomorrow for the main celebrations which are organised by the Zanu-PF Youth League annually.
The party’s provincial commissar Cde Jeppy Jaboon said yesterday: “We’ve so far mobilised 40,000 chairs for the delegates. We’ve 54 buses and these have been offered by well wishers free of charge.”
He said the Zanu-PF leadership has successfully mobilised 54 beasts for slaughter, more than 300kg of game meat, hundreds of crates of soft drinks and beer to feed all those who will come to the occasion.
He said tight security has been put in place to thwart misguided elements bent on causing trouble.
Cde Jaboon rubbished critics who have criticised the party for mobilising resources for the event when drought stalked the province, saying the resources came from well-wishers and not government.
“It’s folly for MDC-T and other opposition parties to accuse Zanu-PF of being insensitive by holding the bash here when there’s a drought. We’ve not used any cent from government and I don’t understand why the MDC-T would be upset when people donate to the President to mark his birthday,” he said.