Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Praises, gifts for Mugabe

By Bridget Mananavire

President Robert Mugabe’s deputies and staff yesterday lined up to praise and shower him with gifts in celebration of his 93rd birthday during a surprise party held at his Munhumutapa offices yesterday.

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe reads a card during his 93rd birthday celebrations in Harare, Zimbabwe, February 21, 2017. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Top government officials took turns to wax lyrical about the nonagenarian leader, with Vice President (VP) Emmerson Mnangagwa taking the lead saying “we pray that we will continue to drink from your cup of wisdom. We . . . feel privileged to serve under you . . . a pan-Africanist and liberation icon”.

“Many people would want to do the following things; shake your hand, and we here get to enjoy this every day, we shake your hand every day and we see you every day,” he said.

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Mnangagwa went on to express gratitude to Mugabe’s wife, Grace, who was not at the party, saying “the First Lady and family, we thank you for keeping our president in good health and well nourished. It is gratifying to be under your leadership”.

“We shall forever be loyal to your stewardship,” the VP said.

He also gave Mugabe a huge portrait of the First Family, which he said was from him and his Justice ministry. The party — held just before his usual Cabinet meeting — was also attended by his daughter Bona and her husband Simba Chikore together with other numerous government representatives.

On the other hand, Vice President Phelekhezela Mphoko described Mugabe as a sacred leader, saying the continent’s oldest leader was a living prophecy.

“If you study prophecy well, if you go to the Bible and match 21 (Mugabe’s birth date) with Psalms 21 it says: ‘I will give you long life’, and it is clear here,” he said.

“Muri gomo risanganongedzwi, ukanongedzera unoita mota (You are mountain that cannot be pointed at; if someone points at you they will have blisters).

“At 93, you are a silo of wisdom, verbally articulate and mentally sharp,” he said.

Mphoko said he bought a paddle for the president as a gift for his birthday, and was going to tell Mugabe about its significance in private.

Chief secretary to the President’s Office and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda also praised Mugabe and gave him an undisclosed amount of money together with art crafts.

Sibanda said the money had been donated by staff, government departments, including security services, as well as citizens of Zimbabwe, adding that they acquired 93 works of art from the National Art Gallery for the long-serving president. Daily News