Zimbabwe’s Mugabe celebrates 92nd birthday with office staff

HARARE — Staff in the Office of the Zimbabwean President and Cabinet on Monday threw a party for the country’s veteran leader Robert Mugabe who has just turned 92, maintaining his title as the world’s oldest head of state and government.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe Birthday

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe stands next to his Birthday cake at State House in Harare, Monday, Feb. 22, 2016. Office staff in the President’s office organized a surprise birthday celebration ahead of bigger birthday celebration set for Saturday in the southern town of Masvingo. Mugabe, the world’s oldest leader, turned 92 Sunday with no plans to step down as feuding over his successors threatens to tear his ruling ZANU-PF party apart. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

As per tradition, staff members held the party and showered Mugabe with two three-tire cakes and various goodies for him to donate to charities of his choice.

Mugabe was accompanied by his wife Grace, son and daughter, and other close family members at the party at State House which was also attended by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko and several cabinet ministers.

Mugabe, born in February 1924, was Zimbabwe’s liberation hero. After leading the guerrilla war against the apartheid regime to victory in 1980, he has served at the helm of the government ever since.

According to the country’s new constitution, the veteran leader can, in theory, participate in another presidential election in 2018 and rule until 2023 when he turns 99.

On Monday’s office party, Mugabe thanked the people of Zimbabwe and those who work in his office and cabinet for supporting him during his tenure as chairperson of the Southern African Development Community and African Union in 2015.

He said he was humbled to have been a leader of such dedicated people.

“Ninety two years is a very long time in this world you know, you will have seen many things happening domestically and experienced also the vicissitudes of the international world,” he said.

“You can be very lonely even if you are living with many…but I haven’t felt that. Every day in every way we have experienced that togetherness, that oneness, that interaction,” Mugabe said.

He urged Zimbabweans to remain united and work on “strategies that build rather than destroy us”.

As per tradition, a lavish birthday bash will be held in the central province of Masvingo this Saturday to celebrate his 92nd birthday. Thousands of people are expected to attend the event at the historical Great Zimbabwe Monument Site.

Courtesy  Xinhua

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