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By Enkosi Selane

Digital Journalist


Zim President ‘offers’ to send Hyenas to Russia

The president of Zimbabwe touted his country's young population, arable land, minerals, and strategic location as attractive assets for partnership.


In a lighthearted moment, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa jokingly offered to donate some of Zimbabwe’s hyenas to Russia.

The Zimbabwean president also stated that the country was open to engaging in business with Western countries.

Mnangwa was referencing Russia’s efforts to maintain its territorial integrity and deter potential threats from European countries.

The pair were conversing at the 27th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia.

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Zimbabwe hyenas on offer

According to News24, the Zimbabwean president lavished praise on his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, hailing him as a “dear and trusted friend” of his nation.

He commended Putin’s efforts to preserve Russia’s territorial integrity, drawing parallels with Zimbabwe’s own experiences.

Mnangagwa jokingly offered to donate some of Zimbabwe’s hyenas to Russia, remarking that they breed prolifically in the country’s national parks.

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“We do have lots of hyenas in Zimbabwe, but we keep them in the national parks so that they don’t disturb us a lot.

“We have no problems with them and they breed a lot and if there’s anybody who wants some, we are ready to donate,” he said.

The comment drew chuckles from Putin and applause from the audience at the SPIEF.

Mnangagwa’s remarks came in response to a question from session chairperson Sergey Karaganov, a political philosopher who has influenced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Karaganov had suggested that nuclear escalation could be a viable option to end the war, and that Putin should have the authority to launch a nuclear strike if necessary.

Mnangagwa’s offer of hyenas was a tongue-in-cheek response to Karaganov’s analogy comparing European countries to packs of wild dogs or hyenas.

Karaganov had suggested that the best way to deal with such “packs” was to “take down a couple” to scare them off.

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Zimbabwe signals willingness to work with the West

Mnangagwa’s remarks were a humorous way of acknowledging the analogy while also highlighting Zimbabwe’s willingness to engage with Russia.

In his prepared remarks, Mnangagwa had emphasized Zimbabwe’s openness to Russian business and investment, despite Western sanctions.

He touted his country’s young population, arable land, minerals, and strategic location as attractive assets for partnership.

By forging a “multi-polar world,” Mnangagwa believes that nations like Zimbabwe and Russia can create a more just and prosperous future for all.

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