Thursday, February 12, 2009

Robert Mugabe’s birthday party

The Times reports:
It is the 85th birthday of President Mugabe this month and the zealots of his Zanu (PF) party are determined that it should be an occasion that their great leader will never forget.
In recent days they have been out soliciting “donations” from corporate Zimbabwe and have drawn up a wish list that is scarcely credible in a land where seven million citizens survive on international food aid, 94 per cent are jobless and cholera rampages through a population debilitated by hunger.
The list includes 2,000 bottles of champagne (Moët & Chandon or ’61 Bollinger preferred); 8,000 lobsters; 100kg of prawns; 4,000 portions of caviar; 8,000 boxes of Ferrero Rocher chocolates; 3,000 ducks; and much else besides. A postscript adds: “No mealie meal” — the ground corn staple on which the vast majority of Zimbabweans survived until the country’s collapse rendered even that a luxury.
Those who prefer to give in cash, not kind, are invited to send “donations” of between $45,000 and $55,000 to a US dollar bank account in the name of the 21st February Movement, a youth organisation controlled by Zanu (PF) and named after the date of the President’s birthday.
Reporter Martin Fletcher admits he can’t prove the list is genuine but says it is from a reliable source who:
. . . had no vested interest in its publication, was hesitant about releasing it and had himself received it from three or four separate businesses that had been approached for donations.
Also on the list: 500 bottles of whisky (Johnny Walker Blue Label, 22-year-old Chivas); 16,000 eggs; 3,000 cakes (chocolate and vanilla); 4,000 packs of pork sausages; 500kg cheese; and 4,000 packets of crackers

The Times report includes an excellent three-minute clip from Emma Hurd of Sky News showing how life is for ordinary Zimbabweans under the murderous old brute’s regime.

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