Mugabe National Holiday – Zimbabwe has officially declared 21 February to be Robert Gabriel Mugabe National Youth Day, thereby making the former president’s birthday a public holiday.
This comes after his sucessor Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn into office following a bloodles coup. New President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to form a cabinet this week.
According to reports, calls for the former president’s birthday to be made a national holiday were adopted by the government in August, following intense lobbying by the Zanu-PF Youth League.
Now President Mnangagwa had also said that the former president needed to be given the respect and recognition he deserved as one of the founders and leaders of Zimbabwe.
During his acceptance speech at his inauguration on Friday, he hailed Mugabe as a father, mentor, comrade-in-arms and a leader. A final decision to declare 21 February as a Mugabe National Holiday has been reached.
However there are fears that Mr. Mnangagwa, who is associated with some of the worst atrocities committed under the ruling Zanu-PF party since independence in 1980, will not usher in the democratic reforms that many in Zimbabwe are hoping for.
In view of that, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change has called for an inclusive “transitional authority” to mark a break with Mugabe’s 37-year rule and bring in reforms to pave the way for free elections next year.
Mnangagwa was sacked earlier this month, triggering the political crisis that eventually saw Mugabe’s downfall.
It had been a political circus in Zimbabwe as the country’s military embarked on a takeover, seized control of the country and detaining President Robert Mugabe who has ruled for 37 years.
Mugabe resigned on Tuesday, November 21, after an impeachment process was triggered in the country’s Parliament to have him removed from office.
Mugabe who had ruled for nearly four decades initially refused to cede power despite a military takeover last week, prompting the nation’s parliament to initiate an impeachment hearing against him.
But before a decision could be reached, the now ex-president tendered in his resignation to the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda.
The announcement was made by the Speaker in the presence of other parliamentarians. Mugabe’s resignation was followed by massive jubilations which engulfed the streets of Harare, the country’s capital, as well as the entire Zimbabwe.