Zimbabwe declares Mugabe’s birthday a 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, the Herald newspaper 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, the Herald reports.

The decision was officially recorded on Friday, it adds.

Last week, President Mnangagwa said the former president needed to be given the respect and recognition he deserved as one of the founders and leaders of Zimbabwe.

“To me personally, he remains a father, mentor, comrade-in-arms and my leader,” he said during his acceptance speech at his inauguration on Friday.

Reports that Mr Mugabe was granted $10m (£7.5m) to ease him out of office have not been confirmed.