Zanu PF youth league is pushing to have February 21 declared a public holiday in honour of President Robert Mugabe.
Youth league Secretary Pupurai Togarepi wants the holiday named the “Robert Mugabe Day”, a move which will see all Zimbabweans across the political strator celebrating Mugabe’s birthday.
The sole leader of Zimbabwe since inde-pendence is widely regarded as an African icon. Zanu PF youths want his legacy recognised by everyone, but reports last week said Mugabe had turned down the offer.
Togarepi said they would go ahead and celebrate the “Robert Mugabe Day” this year and lobby for people to commemorate the day like any other public holiday.
Mugabe turns 92 today, with party youths organising an $800 000 bash for him in Masvingo province.
“We have started the procedures to have the day declared a public holiday. We wrote a letter last year to the Justice ministry, but you know because of government bureaucracy, we are still waiting for them [to respond]. However, this year, we will go ahead and celebrate the icon. We will urge people not to go to work and youths will have real celebrations on that day,” Togarepi said.
Midlands provincial spokesperson Conilious Mupereri said there was nothing wrong with honouring a liberation war hero and an icon of economic emancipation for the black people by setting aside a day for him.
“We will remember that President Mugabe is not only a Zimbabwean hero, but his legacy spreads across the continent. He is well-respected in Africa for standing up against economic oppression and for his call on beneficiation.
“The only noble move by any right-thinking Zimbabwean is to honour our president and declare a day where fellow countrymen seek to emulate and draw inspiration from him,” he said.
In South Africa, the late Nelson Mandela has a day which is dedicated to celebrate his legacy.
The Mandela Day is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, which is celebrated each year on the date of his birthday, July 18.