February 21, former Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe’s birthday has officially been gazetted as Robert Gabriel Mugabe National Youth Day, making the day a public holiday.
According to the Herald newspaper, calls to make the day a public holiday were adopted by the country’s government in August following intense lobbying by the ZANU-PF Youth League.
The gazette notice published on Friday reads: “His Excellency the President, in terms of Section 2(2) of the Public Holidays and Prohibition of Business Act, hereby makes the following notice: (1) This notice may be cited as the Public Holidays and Prohibition of Business Notice, 2017”.
“(2) It is hereby declared that the 21st February of every year henceforth, shall be a public holiday to be known as the Robert Gabriel Mugabe National Youth Day,” the statutory instrument read.
Mr Mugabe resigned last week as country’s president after being at the helm for 37 years. The military intervention and days of mass protests helped in expediting his resignation.
In his acceptance speech, Zimbabwe’s new 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.
The day coincides with the 21st February Movement celebrations meant to commemorate the principles and ideals that Mr Mugabe stood for.