World’s Oldest President, Mugabe Turns 92 | Independent Newspapers Limited
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World’s Oldest President, Mugabe Turns 92

Posted: Feb 21, 2016 at 2:40 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Tony Ademiluyi, Lagos

The world’s oldest leader, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe turned 92 on Sunday, with no plans to step down as feuding over his successors threatens to tear his ruling ZANU-PF apart. The veteran leader will mark the day with a public celebration on Saturday. Last year’s party was a massive feast with several elephants slaughtered and seven gigantic birthday cakes, one weighing 91 kilogrammes. On Sunday, state media lauded Mugabe for his leadership since independence from Britain in 1980, while the opposition urged him to consider stepping down. Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe. In its 16-page special birthday supplement, the Sunday Mail described Mugabe as a “doyen of pan-Africanism”. “Thank You Bob, We now have a voice, since 1980,” said the paper on its front cover. “Long live comrade Mugabe” read another message, adding: “We pride ourselves in your visionary, bold, insightful and fearless leadership.” But the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said Mugabe should think about whether his country, which is in the grips of an economic crisis, would not be better served by his bowing out.

Born on February 21, 1924, Mugabe trained as a teacher and taught in what was then Rhodesia and Ghana before returning home to join the guerrilla war against white minority rule. He became prime minister on Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain in 1980 and then president in 1987.