MDC: Govt’s wildlife record ‘alarming’

Source: MDC: Govt’s wildlife record ‘alarming’ – NewZimbabwe 01/06/2016

THE opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Morgan Tsvangirai has slammed President Robert Mugabe’s government over its inability to protect Zimbabwe’s wildlife.

In a statement sent to News24, party spokesperson Obert Gutu said the government’s inaction in fighting the growing trend of elephant killings was “alarming”.

He alleged that “top” government ministers were involved in the rapidly increasing killing of wild animals.

“In 2014, elephants were poisoned by cyanide. No one from the top government offices ever bothered to check how the cyanide was imported. Obviously it was a heavy duty ring. Elephants died in their hundreds.

“Money changed hands. A few villagers were sacrificed to serve lengthy terms in prison as the real culprits (government ministers) reaped huge profits and walked away scot free,” Gutu said.

First major cyanide poisoning incident 

He said the government had shown no interest in finding out how the regularly used cyanide poison was making its way into the country.

Gutu’s comments came just less than a week after News 24 reported that at least five elephants had been poisoned in the west of the country.

The five elephants were poisoned with cyanide in a protected forest area at the Gwaai Forest.

The dead elephants were found by a patrol which was tracking poachers in the Amandundumela area.

In 2013, Zimbabwe experienced its first major cyanide poisoning incidents. More than 200 elephants were killed in and around Hwange National Park.

Last October, more than 60 elephants were reported killed in another spate of cyanide poisonings in Hwange and Kariba, in the north of the country.