$300K spent in Zimbabwe for Mugabe's 86th birthday

Published February 27, 2010

BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's supporters say they spent $300,000 to celebrate his 86th birthday in this impoverished country.

Delma Lupepe, a leading member of Mugabe's party, said Saturday he helped raise the money from donors.

The Chinese Embassy gave a cake the size of a large TV, which Mugabe's wife Grace helped cut Saturday in the southern city of Bulawayo.

Lupepe says: "We have to celebrate our leader, who's now 86. How many people reach that age?"

The U.N. says the average life expectancy is about 44 in Zimbabwe, which is beset by hunger and AIDS.

Some 25,000 Mugabe supporters were invited to celebrations a week after his birthday. A concert on Friday night was followed by a meal of beef, chicken and rice on Saturday.

Written by Associated Press

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