Robert Mugabe gets birthday cake big as two beds

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe. Picture: AP
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe. Picture: AP
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ZIMBABWE leader Robert Mugabe will cut into a cake the size of two beds at his lavish 91st birthday party today.

The cake’s makers were flown from Harare to Victoria Falls earlier this week ahead of the 
$1.2 million (£770,000) party.

They have had to spend several days painstakingly re-assembling and icing the giant cake ready for some of the 20,000 guests to tuck into, sources say.

Today’s feast, to be held on the golf course of the luxury 
Elephant Hills Resort, will no doubt be one to remember.

Also on the menu is elephant, buffalo, impala and steak.

Ironically Mugabe told his supporters yesterday not to “fill your stomach[s]” if they wanted a long life like his.

The Zimbabwean leader, idolised by many in Africa, told state-run ZBC television in a birthday interview: “I eat well, not filling my stomach, eating foodstuffs that I believe sustain one most.

“You must eat well, and really not go for food because it’s attractive and feed yourself until your tummy is full.”

That may prove difficult advice to follow for those faced by today’s spread.

However, as Zimbabwe slips back into economic crisis, many Zimbabweans are finding it difficult to fork out for bread each day, a newspaper has reported.

Bakers are lobbying for a change in legislation to allow them to produce smaller, cheaper loaves, according to the Zimbabwean newspaper.

Regulations say one loaf of bread must weigh at least 700g. A loaf costs $1 on average. But that is too expensive for many, according to National Bakers Association of Zimbabwe president Givemore Mesoemvura.

“We now need a new law that can allow us to produce smaller sizes that people can afford,” Mr Mesoemvura said last week.

Eighteen months after Mr Mugabe claimed victory over his rival Morgan Tsvangirai in presidential polls in 2013, the southern African nation is in trouble.

Two banks have closed down in the last month. Companies are shutting down or putting workers on unpaid leave.

And tons of shiny new “bond coins”, introduced by the central bank in December in a bid to bring down prices, are sitting unused.

Locals are refusing to accept them, fearing the coins will soon be as worthless as Zimbabwe’s trillion-dollar banknotes were during the hyperinflation crisis of 2007-8.

These days 76 per cent of Zimbabweans survive on less than $200 per month.

Not Mugabe’s closest allies, however. His nephew Philip Chiyangwa showed off his $500,000 custom-made white Hummer limousine at his birthday party on 20 February.

Locals joked bitterly that the vehicle looked like a hearse.