Mugabe docks salaries of civil servants ... to pay for his birthday party

Inflation’s at 1600%, doctors and teachers are on strike, and the pride of Harare is in full-bore Marie Antoinette mode. It’s a race against time: will Zimbabweans deliver a little Louis-XVI-style justice before this cretin kicks, or will he pass away peacefully in bed like too many of his sort get to do?

This is birthday 83 so they’d better get getting while the getting’s still good.

Police in Zimbabwe imposed a three-month ban on political rallies and demonstrations across large parts of Harare today as Robert Mugabe, the world’s oldest head of state, celebrated his 83rd birthday.

The blanket ban, announced in state-controlled newspapers, came as supporters of the hardline President prepared a lavish cake-and-fizzy-drinks birthday party in the central city of Gweru, to be held on Saturday to mark…

The party has been deducting money from civil servants’ wages and bullying near-bankrupt businesses for donations to raise the 300 million Zimbabwean dollars (about £30,000 at real exchange rates) to pay for the celebration on Saturday. In attendance will be the 21st of February Movement, an organisation of children established with the sole purpose of gathering on this day each year to pay homage.

Together with hundreds of Mr Mugabe’s rich and powerful cronies, they are expected to hear a long address from the Most Consistent and Authentic Revolutionary Leader — his official title. The cost of the party would supply 300 Aids sufferers with antiretroviral drugs for a year in a country where only 50,000 people out of 500,000 infected have access to them.

One of the capos in the secret police tells the Times he fears an anti-Mugabe “explosion.”