Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, celebrating his 90th birthday before thousands of people at a soccer stadium Sunday, said he felt like a young boy and indicated that he was not ready to step down.

“I feel as youthful and energetic as a boy of nine,” said Mugabe, at the event in Marondera, 75 kilometers (45 miles) east of Harare.

Mugabe gave his trademark clenched fist salute to the crowd, as he and his wife, Grace, stood at the back of a truck that drove around the stadium. Mugabe holds a giant birthday party in a different city each year, to take the festivities around the country.

He cut a 90-kilogram (200 pound) cake, one of five cakes served and 90 cows were butchered for the massive party, estimated to have cost $41 million.

Mugabe’s actual birthday was on Feb. 21 but he was away in Singapore for a “cataract operation” on his left eye, according to his office. He returned to Zimbabwe on Saturday.

Mugabe claimed to be as “fit as a fiddle,” in an interview broadcast on state television. On Sunday he looked robust, speaking to the crowd for an hour.

In the birthday broadcast, Mugabe insisted he isn’t ready to retire.

“Why should it (retirement) be discussed when it is not due?” he said in an interview broadcast on state television. “The leadership still exists that runs the country. In other words I am still there … When the day comes and I retire … I do not want to leave my party in tatters. I want to leave it intact.”

Mugabe claimed he is the harbinger of good tidings for the nation, as the country has been soaked with rains around his birthday.

“My mother told me I was born during a year of plenty, in a year of a good harvest,” he said. “Now we see rains coming down as I turn 90, this is going to be a year of good harvests.”

Mugabe’s 90th birthday comes amid intense speculation about Zimbabwe’s future when his grip on power loosens.

Vying to replace him are Vice President Joice Mujuru and Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.

(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today)

0

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel :

Follow Us on Instagram