Donkey abattoir raises police, govt concerns

Justina Lumsden streses a point to the Deputy Minister  Deputy Minister of Agriculture (Livestock) Cde Paddy Zhanda while National Anti-Stock theft Unit Co-ordinator Senior Assistant Erasmus Makodza listens during a tour of Acacia Donkey Abbatoir in Bulawayo yesterday.

Justina Lumsden streses a point to the Deputy Minister Deputy Minister of Agriculture (Livestock) Cde Paddy Zhanda while National Anti-Stock theft Unit Co-ordinator Senior Assistant Erasmus Makodza listens during a tour of Acacia Donkey Abbatoir in Bulawayo yesterday.

Kiyapili Sibanda, Chronicle Reporter
THE Government and the police have expressed reservations on the opening of a donkey abattoir in Umguza amid fears that the meat might be sold locally.

A local company, Battlefront Investments is building a $150 000 donkey abattoir, the first in the country that will have the capacity to dress more than 70 animals a day.

Recently, the company’s managing director Mr Gareth Lumsden said their abattoir is set to be completed by end of this month.

He said they have since started buying donkeys for slaughter.

Yesterday, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Deputy Minister responsible for Livestock, Cde Paddy Zhanda said eating donkey meat is taboo in Zimbabwe and from a Government point of view, they want assurance that the donkey meat would not find its way into the local market.

The Deputy Minister said this during a visit to the abattoir with a delegation that included Ministry officials and members of the Police Anti-Stock Theft Unit.

“There is a lobby group that is totally against this abattoir and Government’s position is that donkey meat cannot be consumed in Zimbabwe. We therefore want assurance that this donkey meat will not find its way into local butcheries,” said Cde Zhanda.

He said members of the public wanted Government to protect them from the risk of consuming  donkey meat without their knowledge.

“We therefore have an obligation to put measures in place to ensure donkey meat is not sold in local butcheries.

The National co-coordinator of the police anti stock theft Senior Assistant Commissioner Erasmus Makodza said many farmers had raised concern after learning of the planned opening of the donkey abattoir.

He said farmers feel that their donkeys would be stolen.

“Generally when we are on our ordinary awareness campaigns we deal with livestock farmers.

‘‘Farmers are now worried that there will be an upsurge in thefts of donkeys,” said Snr Ass Comm Makodza.

He said there was also concern that some meat would find its way to the local market.

A representative of the company said they were eying a ready market in China and no donkey meat will find its way into the local market.

Yesterday’s visit by the Deputy Minister and his delegation to the abattoir comes a week after animal conservationists criticised the planned slaughter of donkeys for commercial purposes.

The conservationists made the remarks in a joint statement by Aware Trust Zimbabwe, Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Zimbabwe, Lupane Youth for Development Trust, the Zimbabwe National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Spana.

“It is with grave concern that the above organisations have learned about the proposed donkey abattoir in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe. We would like to highlight the possible socio-economic, animal welfare and environmental consequences that might result from such a venture, and enlighten the Zimbabwean public on the experience of other countries that have licensed donkey abattoirs in Africa. Given that the global donkey population is only 44 million, this insatiable demand is simply not sustainable,” the statement said.

“Zimbabwe has an estimated population of 150 000 donkeys, spread over the communal areas where they are an integral part of community life. The proposed abattoir in Matabeleland has an ability to process 70 animals per day. If supply met demand, using 300 working days per year, the population of donkeys could be decreased by 21 000 donkeys per year.”

The conservationists said housed in unhabituated groups, donkeys suffer from a stress-induced condition called hyper-lipemia, which can kill them.

“There is no ethically acceptable method of intensively farming donkeys and the demand for the skin trade far exceeds the rate at which they can be produced. While some local farmers may benefit from the short-term sale of their donkeys, they are unlikely to be aware of the long-term consequences of this trade. The importance of the working donkey to communal farmers cannot be overstated,” the organisations added.


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  • QB

    Pliz valani into yenu leyi why bengathengi izitonkana ezingu20,000 at least bayezifuyela khonale. Botswana has over 270,000 donkies kodwa bayivala le-butcher pho thina nge 150,000 siyasala lani?

    • World Citizen

      Noone is forced to sell their donkeys. If they feel they are running out they can just not sell. Why is this not common sense?

      • bhongozvozvo

        You must all be spoiled urban snobs who do not know the value of the donkey over and above its meat to rural poverty. If the truth is that we have about 150 000 donkeys now,the introduction of this Chinese inspired donkey trade signals the start of biting abject poverty for the rural poor households who will be hoodwinked to dispose of their animals of burden for a few inflation beaten dollars leaving them hungry with no draught power. Given a situation where most teenagers and young adults have migrated into urban centres, those old people will remain without any farming resources of which the donkey has been the cog for centuries. Come the Chinese who rarely feature in our drought relief plans, our communal househlods will be left much poorer.May our Members of Parliament get concerned ans seek a scientific explanation on donkey replacement rates against sustainability of this mercenary project.Look who is trying to start that project. Any links with the rural black men besides the parasitic and capitalistic motive to extract for profit and never mind the grinding poverty coming into African households—not all white mean ‘Good’ to the rural poor black families as they owe them nothing except continuous exploitation for foreign currency all the way while our drowsy MPs consistently and persistently snore snore in Parliament. Yeses, this is how those who govern us are selling us out to yellow capital from the East. While we benefited from the ‘Look East Policy;, this venture destroys all the merits,if they were any, from that policy.Shame Zimbabwe

        • Dunderhead

          I hear urbanites are also buying dog meat, kibo konke yinyama.

  • Cetshwayo kaGodlwayo

    No why expressing reservations now, when the plans for it were tabled before relevant govt authorities they all gave a greenlight, what has now changed. They knew abt all things they still know today…these ZANU dogs can never be trusted. It was not supposed to be given a go ahead in the place if these Zanu dogs did not want it. Nxaaa lezinja lezi, wasted investment now…its going there towards closure vele

  • BonzoReChihuta

    If one wants to eat donkey meat, what business is it of the police or government? Its a business gap. All they need to ensure is if the meat is to be sold locally, then it is properly labeled. Its stupid for a whole Minister to say silly statements like, “Its is taboo in Zimbabwe to eat donkey meat”. How the fuck does he know what everyone eats in the country!

    • ndabambi

      the behaviour of the donkey is different from other animals, l grew up in the rural areas where donkeys were kept it tends to know its human family members, can get bored, it raises its ears to listen to what you are saying, if its really bored it will lie down and refuse to co operate with you. If the worse comes to the worst it can bite you for you to see that it hates what you are doing, these animals are fun, but because of the money we will have to ‘betray them like Judas Iscariot betraying our Lord. l think we should allow the abbattoir it will be of help to us. What some do not know is that donkeys have always been used to feed lions in some animal sanctuaries

    • josefa chinotimba

      And how the fuck do you ask such a question?Do you have any idea of the number of people who eat donkey meat in Zimbabwe.

      I am pretty sure that because of greediness in Zim,donkey meat will find its way into the butcheries.And we don’t consume donkey meat in Zim.Take it to Botswana or just close the abbatoir now now!

      • BonzoReChihuta

        This idea that Zimbabwe is some sort of homogeneous society is the source of your and the ZANU PF minister’s warped reasoning about what is and isn’t right for Zimbabweans. That is a choice an individual has to make. You can’t just blanket everything and everyone, our societies are now diverse, respect that.

      • Mjaji Wengotsha

        ….speak for yourself, thoz who want donkey meat wil buy, people wil be employed here, sales to China wil bring forex and ther is too many donkeys roaming mat south waiting to b used after the rains but it NEVER rains here….

  • inyanga

    May be we should allow the Donkey abbattoir if its going to bring in forex, villagers will now have to undergo lessons on donkey breeding, l know they can breed fast like the cattle, although the donkey is associated with certain myths the cross on its back which is said to be the cross of Jesus and some inyangas use it for some rituals like they say if someone washes its face with water , that water can turn one into a moving zombie, and there is also a part of it used to treat those with birth difficulty, when a donkey gives birh inyangas collect something which they store for future use to treat their patients. In short ubabhemi ungu muthi hatshi inyama

  • Guest

    Close it now

  • siqabhobho

    Donkey farming should go ahead , just like chicken farming, the lady on the picture should stand her ground

  • Croc Burger

    As we are speaking now kariba has a Croc farm and it was a taboo for Zimbos to eat croc meat. go right now you cant buy a KG because it is fully booked making croc burgers and sausages. & they slaughter hundreds of them.
    those making a fuse are still to taste the donkey meat.

    • phuthukezi

      but the crocodile has no cross on its back like a donkey, the ancestor of a crocodile did not carryJesus Christ

  • musa

    people eat pigs, they eat crocodiles yet when someone wants to eat donkeys government wants to stop them. hypocrites! taboo is not against the law. let those who want to eat donkeys eat donkeys, after all we people eating pigs, the worst animals people can eat.

  • Saddam Kalifa

    Waking up early in the morning and realize you Zimbabwean it juss gives you stress..Imagine you hving your lovely braai then you told the guy who hed braai before you was hving donkey meat kkkkkkk my word…Am seriously becoming a Vegetarian

    • World Citizen

      Imagine you dont eat pork and the guy braaing before you was braaing pork? Do you not braai? Much ado about nothing!

  • Zvinochererwa Padzairimwa

    Like anything else, if you ban it then it goes underground and situation gets worse. It’s hideous but as long as impacts nobody else then regulate it properly.

  • Mkhokheli Dexter Aaron

    As Zimbabweans we do not tolerate that donkey abattoirs business here in Zimbabwe.If the Minister is not quite sure about this donkey abattoir investor`s mind, these guys are here to make Zimbabweans consume ubabhemi at a later stage. one time you will find Donkey Butcheries in Zimbabwe. For your on information Zimbabwe we do no have enough donkeys for them. Why in Matebeleland because its a donkey area why not in Mashonaland. Guys i don`t like this thing of people who cant say no to some investors

    • World Citizen

      When they build a donkey abattoir, you cry and say why in Matebeleland, if its built in Mashonaland, you will say why not in Matebeleland because we have donkeys. Goes to show that umuntu will never be satisfied! Lifunani? Let those who eat donkeys eat donkeys, just like we let people who like amagundwane to eat them…and those who eat pork to eat it? Just like those who do not eat pork can go to the butchery and say I want beef not pork, you can also go to the butchery and say I want beef not donkey? Whats so difficult there?

      • Dunderhead

        Sifuna kuvuswe iCSC le Cannery e West Nicholson. Sincediswe ngama project okufuya hhayi umbhedo wedonki.

        • Mjaji Wengotsha

          …an investor puts his money where he wants,labo abafuna iCSC abafake imali yabo, isikhathi sokuncediswa ngo Rhodes sesedlula, sukuma uzenzele….

    • Dunderhead

      They should try zebras.

      • ntatshana

        the difference is the skin, the zebra has a strong hide whereas a donkey has what l will call a fragile hide that easily get damaged, sometimes a donkey will scratch the ground with its front leg when you are preparing it to carry a load, l think it must be some form of complaint

        • Zex

          What are you smoking Wena?

          • ntatshana

            a zebra isnt a donkey you, get your facts right

          • crocodile

            l heard someone say in case of panic the zebra will run away whereas a donkey will wait for the outcome and even get killed thats a bit touching. The world needs to end all the violence and protect the vulnerable. Did a donkey not speak to Balaam after it saw an angel and Balaam didnt see it.

  • qondani


  • shisto99

    The investors must be left alone to continue with their project. We must instead be looking at ways to meet their demand, this is an opportunity to commercialize donkey farming. It might also help in improving the care given to donkeys as the better the state of your donkey the higher will be it’s value. Consumption of the meat is optional so that can never be a stumbling block to economic growth.

  • Essexvale

    Why is this thing getting fast tracked with only perfunctory concern being accorded it by the authorities? From their perception, animal rights activists are justified for protesting against establishment of the said abattoir; yet ordinary citizens need to understand the potential that this project has in terms of employment creation directly and through its contribution to downstream industries. However, the fear is that the country’s current donkey population gives little justification for setting up a project with such overstated expectations. This is besides the fact that most donkey owners currently use their animals as beasts of burden and draught-power.Perhaps the company concerned should have initially embarked on a national donkey breeding scheme that will ensure adequate supply of donkeys. What’s the rush anyway?

  • April 7

    Jobs for locals.Opportunities for downstream industries. Investment in the city…Great strides really.

    • Zex

      Go and stride in Halale

      • nxumalo

        very soon l wont be surprised when donkey trucks begin to flow to the abbattoir just like what ended up happening at GMB that some were now smuggling maize from down South, wait and see where the donkeys will come from. Thulani lithi zwi libukele amaroli eletha obabhemi

  • genaro gattusso

    nonsense the same gvt has banned gays and lesbians by the day but by night they practice it.why speak on behalf of us all its taboo to who.isnt it taboo to have a 94 year old standing in a presidential election when he is supposed to rest.

  • Idiot

    BTW, donkey meat is why polony tastes so good.

    • Zex

      Ulamanga Ndwangu.

  • bt

    No donkey slaughter in Zimbabwe,let it be bannished. let them go some other countries.

  • mathe

    l heard someone say if horse meat is placed in the fridges next to beef, and not labelled he said most people will likely choose horse meat they say it looks appetizing

    • Sonde

      I personally am not most people. I know my beef. I know the difference between a donkey and a cow and I also know the difference between umvunhla le Gundwane.

  • Mayelani

    I personally think its not good for Zimbos to eat donkie coz that animal would be suffering double punishment, the beatings that are given to that animal should be enough. To beat and eat it at the same time is grossly unfair. So as long as the abattoir is open, with passage of time the gvt and public will lose focus on the abattoir hence the meat will find its way to the butcheries. Remember there is no piece of legislation that prohibits the consumption of donkie meat.

  • inyanga

    Lingakhohlwa umcamo kababhemi okuthiwa lawo uyelapha

  • pruuuuuuuuuuu

    if donkeys are fed well and supplied with water lam sure they will breed fast instead of what is happening now where no one cares for them and they are left to feed on leaves that fall from trees. Someone will have to start manufacturing donkey feed or pellets, lets not allow this opportunity to surpass us, they love melons

    • April 7

      Excellent enterprising move! Breaking new ground, spotting a gap and then offering a product.Yeah the days of investing in selling uxakuxaku emkambo or amarekeni eRenkini are gone .Now comes research on commercial donkey breeding, donkey feed and so on.

  • sigodo