Zimbabwe permanent secretary of finance's lavish 50th birthday bash amid economic collapse

SA musicians performed, sushi and grilled lobster tails on the menu

08 October 2021 - 21:31 By SHARON MAZINGAIZO
Zimbabwe’s permanent secretary of finance George Guvamatanga threw a 50th birthday party. Stock photo.
Zimbabwe’s permanent secretary of finance George Guvamatanga threw a 50th birthday party. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/firewings

Zimbabwe’s permanent secretary of finance George Guvamatanga threw a lavish 50th birthday party attended by business executives and media figures.

SA musicians Makhadzi and Mafikizolo were hired to perform at the birthday bash, dubbed “G.T.G 50”.

The extravagant outdoor celebration, featuring sushi bars and grilled lobster tails on the menu, was attended by guests in tuxedos and glitzy gowns.

Among several of the party videos that caused a stir after being shared on social media was one of Guvamatanga promising to multiply by five the payment promised to one of the artists.

“So whatever there was on that bill ... I don’t want to disclose. I'm multiplying what was on that bill by five. Tomorrow morning you give me your bank details and by the time you get to SA that amount by five will be in your account my brother,” said Guvamatanga.

The shindig elicited an outcry from Zimbabweans on social media. The country faces inflation as high as 53% at year-end, a weakening of the local currency and price hikes of basic commodities.

Zimbabwean journalist and activist Hopewell Chin’ono said on social media: “I am not bothered with what people do in their private lives. But when I see the permanent secretary of finance George Guvamatanga living it up like this hiring SA bands for his birthday, I realise how detached these political elites are to the daily realities of life.

“These are the people who have come up with policies that have made life difficult for all of us, they tell you to tighten your belts, yet here is how they live! It is difficult for them to understand the economic pressures of life faced by Zimbabweans when you are able to flaunt such conspicuous consumption! Banana republic stuff!”

Zimbabwean government officials are known for hosting lavish birthday parties amid economic collapse. Last year in December the country’s information minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, hosted an extravagant 60th birthday bash.

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