Wed, 11 Feb 2009 00:29:12 GMT | PressTV
While millions starve in Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe's party is preparing an opulent birthday party for him.
The Times of London reported on Tuesday that the supporters of the ruling ZANU-PF party have been out soliciting "donations" from corporate Zimbabwe and have drawn up a wish list.
Meanwhile, seven million citizens survive on international food aid, 94% are jobless, and cholera is spreading throughout a population debilitated by hunger.
The wish list includes 2,000 bottles of champagne; 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.
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 organization named after the date of the president's birthday.
Others said it showed that Mugabe had no intention of curtailing his excesses, even after agreeing to enter a unity government with the Movement for Democratic Change later this week.
A reliable source, who was contacted by the newspaper, revealed the list but had no 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.
The organizer of the the 85th birthday celebration is Patrick Zhuwawo, Mugabe's nephew. "It's an important day for Zimbabweans to celebrate the life of our great leader and Africa's hero," he said.
"Zanu (PF) continues to receive massive donations from the corporate world, ordinary Zimbabweans, and from people from all walks of life, and we are confident that this year's celebrations will be the best."