Mugabe celebrates 89th birthday, gets 89 cows (PHOTOS)

AFP – Supporters of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe heaped praise on him as he turned 89 on Thursday with one newspaper gushing that he was “ripening” like good old wine.

Scroll down for pictures from the celebration…

Mugabe said the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor, Dr Gono made a bet that he will give him 89 cows if he turns that age which he has done, saying he was since given the herd.

The state-controlled Herald newspaper dedicated a 16-page supplement filled with congratulatory messages from state corporations, private firms and individuals, for Africa’s oldest leader.

“Celebrating his 89th birthday today, President Mugabe is still going strong and is mentally and physically as fit as ever ripening with each passing day like good old wine,” said an editorial in The Herald.

The police praised Mugabe for his “unparallelled, principled and intuitive leadership.

“We take judicious counsel from his illustrious words,” the police said in a statement.

Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, is one of Africa’s longest ruling leaders. He has accepted nomination by his ZANU-PF party to run in the presidential race this year.

His health has been the subject of much speculation, especially since WikiLeaks released a 2008 diplomatic cable saying central bank chief Gideon Gono had told then US ambassador James McGee that Mugabe had prostate cancer, and had been advised by doctors he had less than five years to live.

He was to spend his birthday quietly with his family.

A public rally to celebrate his birthday will be held at a stadium in the northeastern mining town of Bindura on March 2, where festivities will include a concert featuring the country’s top musicians.

Organisers said they plan to raise $600,000 (455,000 euros) for the celebrations.

Mugabe said central bank chief Gideon Gono gave him 89 head of cattle as his birthday gift.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe (4th R) with his birthday cake at celebrations at the State House on February 20, 2013. By Jekesai Njikizana (AFP)

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe (4th R) with his birthday cake at celebrations at the State House on February 20, 2013. By Jekesai Njikizana (AFP)

Mugabe blows out candles on his birthday cake during a party hosted by staff in his office at State House in Harare yesterday. Looking are the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe and Minister of State for Presidential Affairs in the President’s Office Didymus Mutasa. — (Picture by Tawanda Mudimu)

Mugabe blows out candles on his birthday cake during a party hosted by staff in his office at State House in Harare yesterday. Looking are the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe and Minister of State for Presidential Affairs in the President’s Office Didymus Mutasa. — (Picture by Tawanda Mudimu)

Photo by: thezimbabwemail

Photo by: thezimbabwemail

Leave a Reply