FILE - In this Friday, Dec, 12, 2014 file photo, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe sits after a swearing-in ceremony at State House in Harare, Zimbabwe. African leaders on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015 appointed 90-year-old Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled his country since 1980, as the new chairman of the 54-nation African Union, succeeding Mauritania's President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, File)

Harare - President Robert Mugabe’s 300-cattle donation to the African Union and his lavish birthday bash in Masvingo last weekend is an insult to the impoverished people of Zimbabwe, a youth group said on Wednesday.

Youth Advocacy for Reform and Democracy (YARD), a brainchild of former Zanu-PF legislator Temba Mliswa, said that although Mugabe’s donation was from his personal property, it was a show of moral decadence.

“Our own national herd is depleting at alarming levels and surely a donation of that magnitude to the youth at the various learning institutions dotted nationwide would make a difference to the food sustainability at these establishments where the thirteen or so universities would benefit from the injection of at least 20 cattle each,” YARD spokesperson, Tinotenda Mhungu, told a press conference in Harare.

He said in his capacity as chancellor of all universities in the country, a donation closer to home to benefit the youth would have resonated more.

Mhungu said if the cattle were to be sold at an average of $900, that would translate to a donation of $270 000, which would go a long way in helping the needy in the country.

“When added together to the cost of $800 000 lavishly expended on the birthday bash, then we are witnessing the extravagant wastage of just over one million dollars,” he said.