Two tribal chiefs are demanding 2,000 white cows from Zimbabwe’s biggest telecommunications provider Econet Wireless after it built a base station on an ancient burial site.
Chief Murinye and Chief Mugabe say Econet has desecrated an ancestral shrine in the Sviba Hills of southern Masvingo.
Chief Mugabe is not linked to Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe.
The two say that unless Econet hands over the rare white cows, Zimbabwe will suffer “famine and disease”, the official Herald newspaper reported.
Construction workers uncovered human remains while building in November last year and immediately stopped work, according to court papers filed by the telecommunications giant, which was founded by Edinburgh-educated Strive Masiyiwa in 1997. He is now Zimbabwe’s richest businessman.
Econet says the chiefs never told Econet that the area was culturally significant.
Said Chief Murinye: “We are demanding that Econet compensate us for desecrating our sacred shrines in Sviba Hills.”
The chiefs say they conduct rain-making ceremoniesthere.