Johnny Rodrigues, the Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, who confirmed the slaughter of the wild life, told Radio VOP: ”It is common knowledge that under the current economic climate, many people in the rural areas are starving and will make an effort to attend any function where free food is available.”
The safari operators who provided the animals were threatened with evictions from their properties if they refuse to do so.
“Three weeks before the rally, a group of Zanu (PF) supporters driving a white Mazda twin with the party’s logo arrived at my farm and told my farm manager that we were supposed to donate one buffalo and two impalas for President Mugabe’s rally. The Zanu (PF) officials who I suspect were from Kwekwe said if I fail to compel with the order I was going to lose my property,” said a safari operator who refused to be named for fear of victimization.
Mugabe’s rally was combined with the official opening of the Women’s Empowerment Bank at Gokwe growth point.