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Zimba man makes a killing selling cooked mice in Marondera



mice for sale

FOR some Zimbabweans living in urban areas eating mice, insects or bugs is welcomed with feelings of aversion and disgust. Yet for their rural counterparts, their consumption, especially of mice during the period just after harvesting right through the winter season, is part of their staple diet.

And for David Bhaureni, 20 of Mahusekwa in Marondera District, catching mice is a “lucrative business given the unemployment rate in the country”.

Bhaureni sells cooked field mice salted, spiced with chillies and dried on sticks as a popular delicacy to some teachers at the local Bumburwi Primary and Secondary schools.

He also gets the majority of his customers from revellers at the local bottle stores at the near-by Border Church Shopping Centre.



mice for sale


“From the sale of these mice I do not have to bother my parents demanding that they buy me clothes because I make more than $100 a month.

“That is enough for me to buy some small things that I need as a young man without having to look up to my unemployed parents,” Bhaureni told the WeekendPost. He added that he sells the mice at a cost of $1 for 6 depending on their size.

“The mbende is a very big species so I normally sell those for $1 for 4 and currently I have a stock of over 300 mice that have been dried which I intend to take to Makoni Shopping centre in Chitungwiza where I hope to sell them for a higher price”.

The mice are hunted in corn fields after the harvest when they have grown plump on a diet of grains, fruits, grass and the odd insect. The most widely eaten species is known locally as nhika and mbende which are grey and brownish in colour and with a short and long tails respectively making a clear distinction from the common rat.

Bhaureni and many others in the village who are in the business of hunting mice for sale have come up with an innovative trap to catch them. One method uses a wooden trap with a wire spring on which a maize seed is tied to attract mice.

“I set this on the paths that the mice make as they go up and down in search of food during the night. The moment they see the seed, they attempt to snatch it away but before they run away they will be trapped because of the spring.

“I have made more than a 100 traps and when I set them I wait until its dark whereupon I make a follow up checking if any mouse has been trapped using the torch on my phone. I take the trapped mice and set again and I repeat for about two to three times in one night before going to sleep around midnight. That means I can catch more than 200 mice using 100 traps,” he said.

Another method of catching mice, Bhaureni said, involves digging holes and putting clay pots filled with water in them. The mouth of the pot is smeared with fried corn husks or peanut butter. As some of the mice fight for the husks, they fall into the pot and drown.

“But that method is less effective when you want to do it for business because you will need a good number of clay pots to catch a significant number. It is the same with the method of having to identify the holes in which they live and dig after them.

“It is a tiresome method which is not effective for someone who wants to make money,” Bhaureni explained.

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