Happy Birthday, Mr Mugabe! Here’s hoping it’s your last.
The Times published today plans for a birthday party which would be vulgar enough if it was for the chief exec of RBS, but these lavish celebration plans for Robert Mugabe‘s 85th birthday venture into the absurd:
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…
It goes on. It only takes one bleak statistic to give this decadence some context. At 85, Robert Mugabe will be 2.6 times the national life expectancy for a Zimbabwean man.
His excessive pride is clearly not hindered by the fact that his party are asking for donations to fund the party in US Dollars, since the Zimbabwean Dollar faded into meaninglessness when it hit the 1 trillion mark last week.
The detail that really strikes home with me is the choice of “8,000 boxes of Ferrero Rocher chocolates”. For one, they’ll only get stuck in your teeth, but I always assumed they were chocolates for the aspirational, not those who actually have money to throw around. I can only hope newly appointed Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai will respond in kind: “Mr Mugabe, with these Rocher you are really spoiling us!”
On a more serious note, Martin Fletcher from The Times, quotes an unnamed aid worker who says:
“It’s just appalling. It’s like they are either completely oblivious to what’s happening in their country, or completely impervious and just don’t care.”
I can hardly believe that Mugabe can still be oblivious to the suffering of his people, more likely it’s the latter: he simply doesn’t care. So Zimbabwe is worth a thought on February 21st – a starving country seething as its decadent dictator dines in style.