By Staff Reporter
FOR the first time in decades, former President Robert Mugabe’s birthday passed unnoticed among Zimbabweans who had become accustomed to his often lavish birthday bashes year after year.
Mugabe was ousted as President in a military assisted transition November last year.
Since the time, he and family have decided to stay away from public life as they slowly adjust to life outside State House.
His birthday, which was declared the Robert Gabriel Mugabe Youth Day, was perhaps the best chance he could have been seen in public.
But the discreet ex-leader chose to keep indoors, with nothing to suggest he was celebrating his 94th birthday.
The often flattering birthday messages that companied his rule were nowhere to seen.
Many locals who still remember Mugabe’s disastrous rule vowed they were not going to celebrate the birth of a leader who spent decades ruining their country.
“It is unfortunate that we are being made to emulate a man who led the genocide, who is responsible for leading the marginalisation of fellow citizens and further caused tribalism among fellow citizens,” said Mbuso Fuzwayo, coordinator with firebrand Bulawayo pressure group, Ibhetshu Likazulu.
He was referring to the 1980s Gukurahundi massacres which Mugabe presided over, leading to the killing of an estimated 20,000 civilians by Mugabe’s army.