Robert Mugabe throws lavish birthday party

Celebration comes amidst allegations that ruling party responsible for violence ahead of elections.

    Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe marked his 89th birthday with a lavish party, reportedly costing $600,000.

    Mugabe, who turned 89 on February 21, sported a bright red cap with his year of birth in green numbers and looked jovial as he cut his birthday cakes during an event at a stadium in the northeastern mining town of Bindura.

    He gave officials from the ruling ZANU-PF party and supporters an hour-long fiery speech packed with anti-Western rhetoric and stinging criticism of his political opponents.

    "Forward with winning elections, down with imperialism," he roared.

    He also called for harmony ahead of a referendum on a new constitution which is due in two weeks and supposed to pave the way for July polls that should end the uneasy power-sharing deal between Mugabe's party and his rival prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

    Celebrations aside, though, Mugabe is fighting allegations that his party is responsible for an increase in violence ahead of a presidential election expected later this year.

    Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa reports from Bindura.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?