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Govt Orders Closure of Schools Ahead of Mugabe Birthday Bash

FILE: An aide stands behind a birthday cake for Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe during Mugabe's 93rd birthday celebrations in Harare, Zimbabwe, February 21, 2017. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo - RTSZLVS

Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Education says it has been ordered to shutdown schools tomorrow and Friday in preparation for President Robert Mugabe’s 93rd birthday bash to be held Saturday at Rhodes Estate Preparatory School in Matabeleland South province.

A school memo being circulated among parents in Bulawayo reads in part, “We have received communication from the Ministry of Education informing us to close school tomorrow and Friday to enable people to join in the celebrations for the 21st February Movement, which is being held in Bulawayo this year.”

According to the memo, lessons are expected to begin Monday next week and pupils that wish to participate in a public march to mark the president’s birthday are urged to converge at Stanley Square in Bulawayo on Thursday.

Nyembezi Ncube, a parent with a child attending lessons at Coghlan Primary School, said it is sad that schools will be shut down to cater for President Mugabe’s birthday bash.

Her views were echoed by Matobo Senator, Sithembile Mlotshwa, and Mbuso Fuzwayo of the protest movement, Ibhetshu Likazulu.

Regional education director, Ollicah Kaira, confirmed that school will be closed to cater for Mr. Mugabe’s birthday.

The state-controlled Chronicle newspaper reported last night that the government has reversed this move.

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