Just when you thought a totalitarian dictator couldn’t do any worse, he goes off and does something to incite a little more anger–again.
Zimbabwean president (read dictator) Robert Mugabe turned 88 years old recently. And, while that isn’t breaking news for any of us, what is shocking is how he celebrated it.
The Guardian writes that the country spent an estimated $1 million on celebrating Mugabe’s birthday. Considering the country’s troubling economic past and inflation rate, the price tag certainly raised a lot of eyebrows.
The level of despair in Zimbabwe is devastating. With the country at impoverished levels, a 50% unemployment rate and a medical emergency on their hands, you would think a serious leader would jump into action. But, apparently all Mugabe wants to do is party.
Among the extravagant festivities included were a soccer tournament and beauty pageant (yes, a beauty pageant). And while Mugabe wined and dined, the citizens of the country were still scrounging for scraps and working desperately for survival.
Mugabe’s actions underscore the tragic conditions the people of Zimbabwe are enduring. The international community must continue to apply pressure to both him and the members of his stronghold ZANU PF party.
In the meantime, as citizens and demonstrators throughout the Diaspora continue to protest against Mugabe’s regime, one can only hope that this year for his birthday Robert Mugabe has a serious crisis of conscience. It’s the one gift that would actually do him and the people of Zimbabwe some good.