The 300 head of cattle donated by President Mugabe to the African Union is a clarion call to African leaders to explore other funding mechanisms to ensure that the continental body becomes self-sufficient. This was said by the chief operating officer of the African Union Foundation Mr Dumisani Mngadi at the second auction of the cattle in Gweru yesterday. He said President Mugabe had shown the way on how Africa should conduct its business.
“We are extremely excited because we are showing now that there are new ways of donating to the African Union,” he said.
“This is a clarion call that President Mugabe has made to other African leaders to look at and say what is that they can contribute. It’s the only way to fund our unity, to fund our development as a continent.
“It’s a clear indication of showing how we should do things. This will go a long way in funding programmes that the foundation supports on youths; it funds programmes that speak to agriculture, where women are also involved.
“This will go a long way to make sure that as a continent we move forward as a unit.”
Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said President Mugabe had always been a strong proponent of a self-financing Africa.
“We are very pleased that the President has been able to assist our foundation in this manner,” he said.
“For years and years, President Mugabe has always said if we cannot fund our own institutions and allow foreigners to do it for us, then those institutions will not belong to us, they will belong to those who will be funding them.
“During his chairmanship of the African Union, the Union committed to financing its programmes.
“Within the next five years, we should be able to be self sufficient in terms of the resources required to run our organisation and if there is any assistance from what we call our cooperating partners, that should come as a bonus, not as the basis of our activities.”
Zanu-PF Central Committee member Cde Jimayi Muduvuri, who coordinated the mobilisation of the cattle said: “I am the coordinator of this programme and I am saying to the President as the former chairman of the African Union, you have done a lot for us.
“President Mugabe gave us land and we are giving the cattle to the President to donate to the African Union for free because he has done a lot for us as a nation.
“I am a businessman and all the people who donated cattle to the President are farmers in their own right as a result of the progressive land reform programme pioneered by President Mugabe.”
Midlands Provincial Minister of State Cde Jason Machaya said: “As a province we have so far donated 100 beasts and 30 of them have been auctioned today.
“We also have $10 000 in cash as a donation. We look forward to a mopping up exercise that will make sure that we have auctioned the 100 cattle.
“As a province, we are excited to be part of this noble exercise, supporting our President.
“We are serious beneficiaries of his many programmes, including most importantly the land reform programme.
“Our farmers are demonstrating their appreciation to His Excellency for having undertaken that exercise by donating 100 beasts. This is just the beginning. We are going to continue supporting the President in whatever programmes he may wish to undertake.”
The first auction of the cattle was done in Harare on Tuesday.