Zimbabwean President: Robert Mugabe turned 93 this week. He celebrated his birthday Saturday 25th 2017 with a lavish party attended by thousands of loyalists outside the second city of Bulawayo.

The ruling Zanu-PF party is hosting the event for Mugabe, who has held power since 1980 during a reign marked by repression of dissent, vote-rigging and the country’s economic collapse.

Now the world’s oldest national leader with his actual birthday on Tuesday has been celebrated in a week-long extravaganza with the state media filled with tributes and praise.

Born on February 21, 1924, Mugabe trained as a teacher and taught in what was then Rhodesia and Ghana before returning home to join the guerrilla war against white-minority rule.

He became prime minister on Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain in 1980 and then president in 1987.

All schools around Bulawayo were closed on Thursday and Friday.

“Our children were told their classrooms have been turned into boarding facilities, and they are being frogmarched to join the birthday party,” local poet and opposition activist Desire Moyo told AFP.