From ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, (CAJ News) – THE African Union has urged people and organisations in the continent to emulate Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, after the leader donated 300 cattle to the organisation.The cattle will be auctioned in a series of events that will take place nationwide throughout the month of May, with proceeds used to raise funds for African Union Foundation (AUF).This is in fulfillment of the promise Mugabe made during his tenure as AU Chairperson during the 25th AU Summit, held in Johannesburg last year.The first two auctions have been held in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital city,and Gweru. Dumisani Mngadi, the AUF Chief Operations Officer expressed gratitude to Mugabe and Zimbabweans for the gesture.“With a population of over 1 billion people, Africa needs to take a lead in financing its own developmental programmes.”Mngadi said Africa needed to be innovative and come up with own solutions to its challenges.“When making the pledge, Mugabe reminded us that Africans are cattle people, and that we measure our prosperity by the herd of our cattle. This donation speaks to Africans being innovative and coming up with African solutions to our African challenges. It also explores creative alternative sources of funding.”Zimbabwe foreign minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, who presided over the auctions, said Mugabe takes AU interests seriously and are close to his heart.“This donation to the AU Foundation is an indication of how seriously he takes self-financing,” said Mumbangegwi. The Zimbabwean president (93) is one of the continent’s most divisive figures.He is largely hailed as a Pan-Africanist who freed his country from they oke of colonialism. Mugabe, in power since 1980, is however viewed by critics as a dictator who tarnished his legacy by ruining the country’s vibrant economy.