Mugabe Hosts $250K Party in Starving Zimbabwe

Cholera, hyperinflation, land grabs... Let's dance!
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2009 1:50 PM CST
Mugabe Hosts $250K Party in Starving Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, centre, prepares to release balloons into the air during his 85th birthday celebrations in Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe, Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009.   (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

(Newser) – More than half of his country is starving, just 10% have jobs, and nearly 4,000 have died of cholera since August, but none of that has stopped Robert Mugabe from partying. Zimbabwe’s president spent $250,000 on his 85th birthday bash today, which included a 187-pound cake, the BBC reports. The celebration comes just days after Zimbabwe asked other African countries for $2 billion in aid.

One Mugabe critic called the party “obscene, and a sign of insensitive leadership.” Morgan Tsvangirai didn’t show up, despite earlier signaling he might. “People should not read this as a snub,” said a Mugabe spokesman. “He excused himself.” Mugabe took the occasion to say there’d be “no going back” on his move to seize farms from white farmers, despite a South African Development Community tribunal declaring it illegal. (Read more Robert Mugabe stories.)

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