Robert Mugabe’s big birthday party is happening tomorrow, 28 February 2015, and some 20,000 people are reported to be in the guest list and it is causing quite a stir. The not-so-grand old man of African politics turned 91 on Saturday 21 February 2015 but the party was pushed forward an entire week.

It is not so much because the Zimbabwean overlord is the oldest serving African president, nor the fact that he still looks quite spritely at 91 – both phenomenal feats, I must say – that the West has pointed an inexplicably brighter spotlight on his jamboree. It is, instead, what’s in the menu.

In the last one week, the internet has been awash with the condemnation of this particular menu, which includes, among other rare mammals, two adult elephants! One of the critics is Born Free USA’s CEO, Adam M Roberts whose opening paragraph in his blog post says that Mugabe will be “…marking the occasion by eating hordes of endangered wildlife.” Take a note that USA is home to the largest wildlife hunting club in the world: Safari Club International (I will explain relevance shortly).

In the menu will be two buffaloes, two elephants, one lion, two sables, and five impalas ‘donated’ by Tendai Musasa, the chairman of Woodlands Conservancy in Victoria Falls, who proceeds to “…wish him many more years,”. That’s another controversy since other members of the conservancy claim that they did not sanction the donation. But, without even pretending to begin to understand why someone would want to eat lion, I find this menu, even if there was no lion in it, quite disturbing.

And Mugabe deserves all the condemnation he’s getting, not only for serving wildlife in his party, but also for spending exorbitant amounts of public funds for a birthday party for “…a 91-year-old, whose future life lies in the cemetery…” as one anonymous Zimbabwean told DW News.

Granted, Mugabe is a very bad man because he’s serving elephant and other assorted wildlife in his shindig. But equally bad (if not worse) are wildlife sport hunters who shoot wildlife for fun – the likes of Safari Club International (see the relevance?) and a new entrant into my lexis, the Dallas Safari Club. If, say, shooting a rhino for fun is good for conservation, how can eating one – or two – be bad?

I do not support Mugabe’s eating of elephant, or as reported in recent items, donating calves to the Chinese, but I think I am more averse to sport hunting, and the hypocrisy of the West’s condemnation of Mugabe’s menu while not doing enough to outlaw sport (sic) hunting.

A good friend, Raabia Hawa, did not mince words:

 

Safari Club International earlier in February held its 43rd hunters convention in Las Vegas, the ‘sin city’ in the great USA, and by some ironic coincidence there were about 20,000 hunters in the convention – the same number as Mugabe’s expected guests. The convention’s purpose was, apparently, to support conservation and (and I think this is the main reason) to celebrate hunting.

During the hunter’s convention, some $15.5 million was raised to “…support hunter advocacy and wildlife conservation.” Some of the funds will also be used to “…protect hunter’s rights [yes, they have those too] and ensure hunting access for future generations.” Unbelievable!

They have rights. And the Dallas Safari Club in October 2013, was auctioning a permit to shoot the highly endangered black rhino to ‘support conservation’ in Namibia. To justify this, the Club’s executive director, Ben Carter, said “There is a biological reason for this hunt, and it’s based on a fundamental premise of modern wildlife management: Populations matter; individuals don’t,” Carter said. “By removing counterproductive individuals from a herd, rhino populations can actually grow.”

This was at a time when Americans were (they still are) not allowed to import endangered wildlife trophies into the US. But sadly, the US Fish and Wildlife Service was set to grant an exemption in this case, as part of a deal that “Namibians hoped will also bring in a higher price for the permit,” as explained by Nelson Freeman, a spokesperson for Safari Club International.

Safari Club International (SCI) defends ‘hunters rights’ and in a recent blog post associated with the group, someone came out fighting when a group of conservation organizations petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to uplist the African elephant as ‘endangered’ from its current status as a ‘threatened’ species. The blogger, in venomous language, asserted that “…four notorious anti-hunting groups took action in an attempt to put an end to the most effective means of elephant conservation – U.S. importation of legally sport-hunted elephants.”

The notorious four were the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International and the Fund for Animals. According to the blogger, SCI will “…submit comments in opposition to an uplisting,” so that they can continue killing elephants.

So they do have rights to keep killing wildlife, but Mugabe has no right to eat two elephants? This is hypocrisy of the highest order. Both acts are detrimental to the survival of wildlife, and should be condemned in equal measure by the West. They should both be stopped!

Mugabe’s Elephant Banquet and Western Hypocrisyhttp://kijanimedia.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Robert-Mugabe-cake.jpghttp://kijanimedia.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Robert-Mugabe-cake-150x150.jpg kijanimedia Conservation
Robert Mugabe's big birthday party is happening tomorrow, 28 February 2015, and some 20,000 people are reported to be in the guest list and it is causing quite a stir. The not-so-grand old man of African politics turned 91 on Saturday 21 February 2015 but the party was pushed...
<a href="http://localhost/kijaniwp/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Robert-Mugabe-cake.jpg"><img class="alignnone wp-image-791 size-full" src="http://localhost/kijaniwp/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Robert-Mugabe-cake.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="400" /></a> Robert Mugabe's big birthday party is happening tomorrow, 28 February 2015, and some 20,000 people are reported to be in the guest list and it is causing quite a stir. The not-so-grand old man of African politics turned 91 on Saturday 21 February 2015 but the party was pushed forward an entire week. It is not so much because the Zimbabwean overlord is the oldest serving African president, nor the fact that he still looks quite spritely at 91 - both phenomenal feats, I must say - that the West has pointed an inexplicably brighter spotlight on his jamboree. It is, instead, what's in the menu. In the last one week, the internet has been awash with the condemnation of this particular menu, which includes, among other rare mammals, two adult elephants! One of the critics is Born Free USA's CEO, <a href="http://www.bornfreeusa.org/bfusablog.php?p=4721&more=1" target="_blank">Adam M Roberts</a> whose opening paragraph in his blog post says that Mugabe will be "...marking the occasion by eating hordes of endangered wildlife." Take a note that USA is home to the largest wildlife hunting club in the world: Safari Club International (I will explain relevance shortly). In the menu will be two buffaloes, two elephants, one lion, two sables, and five impalas 'donated' by Tendai Musasa, the chairman of Woodlands Conservancy in Victoria Falls, who proceeds to "...wish him many more years,". That's another controversy since other members of the conservancy claim that they did not sanction the donation. But, without even pretending to begin to understand why someone would want to eat lion, I find this menu, even if there was no lion in it, quite disturbing. And Mugabe deserves all the condemnation he's getting, not only for serving wildlife in his party, but also for spending exorbitant amounts of public funds for a birthday party for "...a 91-year-old, whose future life lies in the cemetery..." as one <a href="http://www.dw.de/mugabes-big-birthday-bash/a-18283562" target="_blank">anonymous Zimbabwean told DW News</a>. Granted, Mugabe is a very bad man because he's serving elephant and other assorted wildlife in his shindig. But equally bad (if not worse) are wildlife sport hunters who shoot wildlife for fun - the likes of Safari Club International (see the relevance?) and a new entrant into my lexis, the Dallas Safari Club. If, say, shooting a rhino for fun is good for conservation, how can eating one - or two - be bad? I do not support Mugabe's eating of elephant, or as reported in recent items, donating calves to the Chinese, but I think I am more averse to sport hunting, and the hypocrisy of the West's condemnation of Mugabe's menu while not doing enough to outlaw sport (sic) hunting. A good friend, Raabia Hawa, did not mince words: <div id="fb-root"></div> <script>// <![CDATA[ (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_GB/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); // ]]></script> <div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/raabia.hawa.george/posts/10153149644316520" data-width="466"> <div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/raabia.hawa.george/posts/10153149644316520">Post</a> by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/raabia.hawa.george">Raabia Hawa</a>.</div> </div>   Safari Club International earlier in February held its <a href="http://www.ammoland.com/2015/02/sci-celebrates-2015-annual-hunters-convention-in-las-vegas-nevada/#axzz3Sv7H3Xyo" target="_blank">43rd hunters convention in Las Vegas</a>, the 'sin city' in the great USA, and by some ironic coincidence there were about 20,000 hunters in the convention - the same number as Mugabe's expected guests. The convention's purpose was, apparently, to support conservation and (and I think this is the main reason) to celebrate hunting. During the hunter's convention, some $15.5 million was raised to "...support hunter advocacy and wildlife conservation." Some of the funds will also be used to "...protect hunter’s rights [yes, they have those too] and ensure hunting access for future generations." Unbelievable! They have rights. And the Dallas Safari Club in October 2013, was<a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/10/131028-dallas-safari-club-black-rhino-hunt-auction-conservation/" target="_blank"> auctioning a permit to shoot the highly endangered black rhino</a> to 'support conservation' in Namibia. To justify this, the Club's executive director, Ben Carter, said "There is a biological reason for this hunt, and it's based on a fundamental premise of modern wildlife management: Populations matter; individuals don't,” Carter said. “By removing counterproductive individuals from a herd, rhino populations can actually grow." This was at a time when Americans were (they still are) not allowed to import endangered wildlife trophies into the US. But sadly, the US Fish and Wildlife Service was set to grant an exemption in this case, as part of a deal that "Namibians hoped will also bring in a higher price for the permit," as explained by Nelson Freeman, a spokesperson for Safari Club International. Safari Club International (SCI) defends 'hunters rights' and in<a href="https://firstforhunters.wordpress.com/2015/02/20/four-anti-hunting-groups-are-doing-their-best-to-bring-african-elephants-to-extinction/" target="_blank"> a recent blog post associated with the group</a>, someone came out fighting when a group of conservation organizations petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to uplist the African elephant as 'endangered' from its current status as a 'threatened' species. The blogger, in venomous language, asserted that "...four notorious anti-hunting groups took action in an attempt to put an end to the most effective means of elephant conservation – U.S. importation of legally sport-hunted elephants." The notorious four were the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International and the Fund for Animals. According to the blogger, SCI will "...submit comments in opposition to an uplisting," so that they can continue killing elephants. So they do have rights to keep killing wildlife, but Mugabe has no right to eat two elephants? This is hypocrisy of the highest order. Both acts are detrimental to the survival of wildlife, and should be condemned in equal measure by the West. They should both be stopped!