Mugabe 'fails to deliver 300 cows pledged to AU'
12 April 2016, 21:01
Harare - Zimbabwe has not yet handed over the 300 cattle promised to the African Union (AU) by President Robert Mugabe before he stepped down as its head in February, reports New Zimbabwe.
Mugabe, 92, pledged to donate at least 300 cows to the AU foundation, saying that this would help reduce the continental body's "over-reliance on external partners whose donations come with strings attached".
The cattle were "handed over" to AU deputy chairperson Erastus Mwencha at a ceremony at Mugabe's office in Harare, although the herd was said to be kept at a small town outside the capital.
Barely a few months after the pledge, it has emerged that they were only 30 cows that the veteran leader would be donating and that they were not even his. The country's 10 provinces were yet to hand them over, News Zimbabwe said.
"We are reminding all provincial administrators, ministers of state and Zanu-PF provincial chairpersons to wind up their mobilisation and hand over the cattle to President Mugabe as a way of thanking him for the work he did at the African Union... We want to update the AU on the progress we have made," a businessman co-ordinating the collection of the cattle was quoted as saying by the state-owned Herald newspaper.
Mugabe received applause for the pledge, with the AU even hailing him as an exemplary leader who demonstrated the ability of Africans to fund Africa's development.
The nonagenarian was, however, ridiculed by local opposition parties which claimed that this was "a joke in very bad taste", as the country was battling with acute drought that had resulted in at least 7 000 cattle being killed.