Prominent landowner Tendai Muasa says he has given two buffaloes, two elephants, a lion, two sables and five impalas for Mugabe’s birthday. The haul of meat is reckoned to cost around $120,000 (£78,000).
“The total value is $120,000. This reflects the money we get annually and we thought this would be a perfect gesture,” Muasa told the newspaper.
“No sane person will dispute the donation when they are beneficiaries of the land reform programme whose architect is the recipient of our donation.”
However, the Chronicle reports that Victoria Falls villagers believe Muasa has drained their resources and has made the donation without paying the community for the animals or consulting with locals beforehand. If true, this would mean a reduction in the villagers’ income.
Johnny Rodrigues, head of Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, has described the slaughter as “totally unethical”.