On the menu at the most recent rally for the Zimbabwe African National Union Political Front (ZANU-PF): 3 African buffalo, 3 elephants, and a lot of smaller game according to SW Radio Africa. Attended by Zimbabwe’s President and founder of ZANU-PF, Robert Mugabe, the rally also celebrated the opening of the Women’s Celebration Bank.
Given the extent of poverty and hunger in Zimbabwe, SW Radio Africa speculates that the meat was used to entice villagers to the rally where the food was given out for free.
Mugabe has been heavily criticized by western nations for human rights abuses, employing violent brutality against political enemies, and land reforms which critics contend have led to wide-scale starvation in Zimbabwe. Since 2002, the EU and US have set sanctions against Mugabe and the Zimbabwean government.
The African elephant is listed as Vulnerable to extinction by the IUCN Red List. Loss of habitat and poaching are its greatest threats.
Earlier in the year, Zimbabwean Security Forces were accused of poaching 200 rhinos.
Elephant feeding in the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe. Photo by: Jeremy Hance.
UN official: Zimbabwe security forces poached 200 rhinos
(02/14/2010) Last week the secretary of the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), Willem Wijnstekers, announced that security forces in Zimbabwe had poached approximately 200 rhinos in a two year period. He did say how many elephants were poached by security forces.