Mugabe reportedly pledged the donation in June last year to help reduce the AUâ€™s â€œover-reliance on external partners whose donations come with strings attachedâ€.
Mwencha however, left Harare without the cattle which, state media reported, were being kept by Kadoma businessman and Mugabe supporter Jimayi Muduvuri.
Zanu PF Parliamentarian Kindness Paradza, at the time told AFP news agency: “We are looking after the cattle at a farm in Karoi and the AU can decide what they want to do with them.”
It now turns out that there arenâ€™t 300 cattle, but just 30 and they are not coming from Mugabe either.
The State-owned Herald newspaper on Tuesday reported Muduvuri telling â€œleaders in the countryâ€™s 10 provincesâ€ to hand over cattle they pledged to â€œPresident Mugabe after he donated 300 cattle to the African Unionâ€.
Muduvuri gave the provinces a deadline of the end of this month to deliver the beasts.
â€œWe are reminding all provincial administrators, ministers of state and Zanu PF provincial chairmen 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,â€ Muduvuri is quoted saying.
â€œWe will be sending trucks to the provinces to collect all pledges. I will be calling the provinces soon and we want to update the AU on the progress we have made.â€
Speaking during Mwenchaâ€™s February visit, Mugabe said: â€œI am happy that the gift we offered to the AU is at last received by the beneficiary.
â€œI just decided that we make a gift in kind, it just struck me that no one had ever thought of a gift by way of cattle to the AU and since we are cattle people why shouldnâ€™t we also make a gift to the AU in cattle form?
â€œSo we are very happy to make such a contribution, it (AU) is our organisation.â€
The donation, made a time millions of Zimbabweans faced hunger due to drought, was condemned by the local opposition.
â€œThis is a joke in very bad taste; Itâ€™s a joke thatâ€™s not funny at all,â€ said MDC-T spokesman Obert Gutu.
â€œHow can … Mugabe, knowing that at least three million Zimbabweans are facing starvation because of the El Nino-induced drought, coupled with the effects of a disastrous land reform exercise, find it fit and proper to donate 300 cows to the AU?
He added: â€œInstead of donating those 300 cows to the AU, the Zanu PF regime should actually have sold those beasts and raise money to import maize.
â€œWith a president like this, who needs enemies?”
PDP spokesman Jacob Mafume added: â€œIt will rank among the most bizarre donations that an international body has received.
â€œIf you take into consideration the fact that Zimbabwe is behind in paying its dues to the AU by a considerable amount then it all becomes farcical and rank madness.â€
Post published in: Africa News