Abuja – Wild animals are reportedly set to be slaughtered and served at President Robert Mugabe's 91st birthday party, a development that has enraged conservationists.
A report by the Chronicle said a prominent farmer, Tendai Musasa had pledged to donate two elephants, two buffalos, two sables, five impalas and a lion worth a combined $120 000 towards the president's birthday bash that will be held on 28 February.
According to The Guardian the conservationists have branded the plans as unethical.
Musasa said this was his way of supporting the function and to ensure a celebratory mood.
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He said the donation was "a perfect gesture", adding that the animals would be slaughtered a few days ahead of the big day with the meat being stored by a local hotel.
"This is totally unethical"
But the chairperson of Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force Johnny Rodrigues said he was not in favour of anyone donating wild animals for a celebration or any other reason.
"They have been doing this for years now. Every time there is a celebration..., several elephants and buffalo are killed for the celebrations. This is totally unethical and should not be allowed," Rodrigues was quoted as saying.
Mugabe’s government is already under fire for a plan to ship at least 62 baby elephants to China, the United Arab Emirates and France.
The country’s tourism minister last month said the southern African country was overpopulated with African jumbos, adding that Zimbabwe needed to urgently reduce the animals’ population.
According to Huffington Post, at least 20 000 people are expected to attend the lavish celebrations just outside Victoria Falls.
Several people have posted their reactions on Twitter: