ADDIS ABABA-(MaraviPost)-Zimbabwe President Comrade Robert Mugabe this week shocked the world when auctioned cattle worth US$1 million, to raise funds for the African Union (AU) Foundation.
President Mugabe said the gesture is to help end the donor-dependency syndrome and prove that Africa can bankroll its own development activities.
Mugabe told the BBC that he donated 300 cattle from his herd, a decision that some Zimbabweans led to doubling the number; they said they wanted to contribute towards a “noble cause.”
Mugabe handed the US$1 million cheque to the AU headquarters during this year’s annual leaders’ Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
President Mugabe told the Summit that it was a modest contribution and a symbolic step towards helping to end the donor-dependency syndrome.
The cattle has been donated mostly by farmers who have benefited from the land reforms program and an expansion of the 2015 pledge by Mugabe to offer 300 cattle.
The donation comes amid a severe cash and food crisis in Zimbabwe. Last year, more than four million people were in need of food aid in the southern Africa state after seasonal rains failed.
However, there was a bumper harvest this year, with the country expected to be food self-sufficient for the first time in many years.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s opposition parties blame Mugabe’s Government for the food shortages; they argue that its controversial land reform program has ruined the country’s farming sector.
Zimbabwe has also been forced to introduce bond notes, after the country ran out of the US dollar, the main currency in use in Zimbabwe.
Hyper inflation forced the Government to abandon the Zimbabwe dollar in 2009.