Zimbabwe’s international airport to be renamed after Mugabe

Harare – Zimbabwe’s Harare International Airport is set to be renamed after the southern African country’s long-time president Robert Mugabe, a report says.

A memo advising the country’s aviation authorities of the name change was shared on social media on Tuesday.

According to the memo, the Harare International Airport would be renamed RG Mugabe International Airport from November 9, 2017.

The airport joins other facilities named after Mugabe, including the government’s school of intelligence, a main street in the capital Harare and a highway to his rural home.

Reports indicated last month that Mugabe’s cash-strapped government also planned to build a $1bn university to honour the 93-year-old president accused of brutal repression and bringing the country to economic ruin.

Minister of Tertiary Education, Jonathan Moyo, was quoted as saying that the post-graduate university, to be located in Mazowe, 35km outside Harare, would cost $1bn, but he declined to say how the country would afford to pay the sum.

Construction would cost $800m, with $200m for an “endowment fund for research and innovation”, Moyo said, adding that the university would specialise in science, technology and engineering.

Mugabe, in power since Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain in 1980, will contest elections due next year despite his advanced age and concerns over his frail health.

The country’s economic output has halved since 2000, many basic services have collapsed, and government salaries use up more than 90% of all public revenue.

Mugabe has seven earned degrees and 11 honorary degrees, according to state media.

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