By JOSEPH CURTIS PUBLISHED: 15:35 GMT, 20 February 2016 | UPDATED: 16:57 GMT, 20 February 2016
A 92kg cake for his 92nd birthday: Mugabe to celebrate with a £550,000 'thank you' bash

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe to enjoy lavish party next week

The £550,000 event comes amid protests from citizens over drought

Mugabe turns 92 tomorrow and party criticised for 'wasting money'

Much of capital city Harare will be without electricity during his birthday

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is to celebrate his 92nd birthday with a lavish party featuring a 92kg birthday cake.

Next week's £550,000 bash will be a 'thank you' for the world's oldest head of state with banners and billboards seen carrying the slogan 'Thank you, Bob, for giving us a voice to be heard'.

It comes as vast swathes of the capital city of Harare will be without water and electricity during the politician's birthday tomorrow due to 'scheduled maintenance work', according to officials.

According to the Times Live of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution and Transmission Company will cut the power from 6am to 6pm.

There have also been calls for the party to be cancelled due to a widespread drought in Zimbabwe which is thought to be affecting three million citizens.

According to The Times, Simba Makoni, of opposition party Mavambo Kusile Dawn, said: '[Tanzania's] President Magufuli cut out state ceremonies, yet we must squeeze hard-earned dollars for someone's big ego trip...among starving people.'

Mr Mugabe's 'speaking ability and sharpness' has been questioned recently and a medical specialist told The Times that 'one's mental facilities at that age mean you cannot deal with the kind of issues that he is supposed to'.

But the president himself said earlier this month: 'I will be there until God says 'come', but as long as I am alive I will rule the country.'

The birthday celebrations have been overshadowed by splits beginning to form in his Zanu (PF) party, with two factions competing to replace him.

One is led by the vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, aged in his 70s, who has backing from the military, while the other, calling itself G-40, is said to be led by the first lady Grace Mugabe, 50.

Three days ago riot police tear-gassed war veterans in Harare who were protesting against what they claimed was the growing influence of the first lady, who is reported to have said she is senior to the vice-president in the government.

Local press are now predicting the political party could fall apart when Mugabe dies because of in-fighting.

Read more: Robert Mugabe to celebrate his 92nd birthday with a 92kg cake | Daily Mail Online