The elephant meat donated to President Robert Mugabe for his 91st birthday was not served to partygoers, it was reported on Friday.
An elephant was shot three days before the party in Victoria Falls. It was given to the organisers of the party by farmer Tendai Musasa, but they did not want the meat, the Southern Eye newspaper reported, according to a Sapa correspondent.
“The meat was reportedly rejected and returned to the Woodlands community for villagers to share,” the newspaper reported.
The news that Mugabe was to serve two elephants at his February 28 party caused outrage from animal rights activists and prompted international headlines.
Before the party, villagers from the Woodlands area of Victoria Falls complained that the elephants were not Musasa’s to give away. They said that by donating elephants, Musasa was depriving them of revenue.
Musasa’s claim that the elephant shot was a “problem animal” which needed to be put down to teach the rest of the herd a lesson was also in doubt.
The farmer reportedly told the Southern Eye from Namibia: “I have no comment on that issue for now.”
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change was quoted as saying Mugabe should have cancelled his party as the funds spent on it could have been better spent on service provision.
The Southern Eye reported that beef, kudu and buffalo was served. Eight cakes were also donated.