By Aislinn Laing
Tendai Musasa says he may even throw in a crocodile to show his gratitude for Mr Mugabe, whose regime helped him take control of a previously white-owned Victoria Falls game conservancy
A Zimbabwean game farm owner who has pledged two elephants, two buffalo, two sable antelopes and five impalas for a giant barbeque at Robert Mugabe’s birthday party this weekend has said the donation is just “a drop in the ocean” considering his debt to the 91-year-old leader.
Tendai Musasa, along with 118 others, was given a 12,600 hectare game conservancy previously owned by a white Zimbabwean by Mr Mugabe’s regime.
Conservationists reacted in outrage to Mr Musasa's pledge, branding it “unethical”. The opposition Movement for Democratic Change described the plans as “obscene” and called for all donations towards the party to be handed to the local orphanage.
But Mr Musasa said he believed the presentation of $120,000 (£77,000) of game was “the perfect gesture".
"What is an elephant? It’s a drop in the ocean compared to what we got from the president in the form of 12,600 hectares of land. We know it's not enough but it's just a gesture for his values which we uphold dearly,” he told South Africa’s News24.
"There may even be three elephants and I am thinking of adding a crocodile. The President has done much more for us and we see him as our father, our provider and our hero.”
Mr Musasa is the chairman of Woodlands Wildlife Conservancy, and responsible for leading conservation and hunting efforts on the the game farm, which was owned by a white Zimbabwean until the launch of violent land seizures in 2000.
Since his pledge, it has emerged that he is in trouble with some of the war veterans, government officials and game rangers who co-own the conservancy for allegedly misappropriating funds, something he vehemently denies.
On Saturday, he is expected to present the president with a lion and crocodile trophy, along with meat for his table.
Mr Mugabe turned 91 last week but his birthday will be celebrated this weekend at a luxury golf resort called Elephant Hills in Victoria Falls.
Each year, a group called the 21st of February Movement after the day of Mr Mugabe's birthday hold fundraising events for the party including a dinner.
This year, Emmerson Mnangagwa, the vice-president, is said to have splashed out $13,600 on two portraits of Mugabe.
A member of staff at Elephant Hills said it had not yet been informed about the addition of big game to the menu, and had been instructed by the state to cook roast and casseroled beef, sadza, Zimbabwe's ground maize staple, and vegetables for 500 people.