3 ministers tour Hwange | The Herald

via 3 ministers tour Hwange | The Herald  ZBC September 16, 2013

A high-powered delegation comprising three Cabinet ministers visited Hwange National Park and Tsholotsho yesterday to assess the environmental situation following the recent poisoning of 41 elephants by poachers.The horror of elephant poisoning and wildlife poaching was glaring and the ministers declared war on poaching to avert further damage.

The ministerial delegation comprised Environment, Water and Climate Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, Media, Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo and Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi.

The ministers flew to the scene of the recent elephant killings aboard a helicopter and had a look at the elephants’ carcasses and horns, which have since been confiscated by the police.

Minister Kasukuwere said in an interview that he was not happy with the sentences being handed to poachers and he would encourage the shoot to kill policy.

He said stiffer penalties would deter would-be poachers. Minister Kasukuwere said he would work on a wildlife conservation model that would result in communities benefiting from the conservation of  wildlife, thereby creating employment.

Minister Mzembi said there was need for stakeholders to collaborate and respond to such disasters and called for the immediate isolation of affected areas and neutralisation of cyanide, that reportedly requires a generation to biodegrade.

The poachers used cyanide to poison the elephants. Wildlife poaching syndicates in Zimbabwe have become sophisticated and need appropriate responses to effectively deal with them.

The 41 elephants were killed last month by six poachers after they poisoned a water pond with granules of Cyanide and the suspects have since been arrested and were assisting police with investigations.

They are Sipho Mafu (55), Misheck Mafu (46), all of Tsholotsho, Nqobizitha Tshuma (25), Farai Chitsa (34), Tinashe Deroy Sengwayo (22) and Alexander Ngwenya (42) all of Bulawayo.

Cyanide poisoning occurs when a living organism is exposed to a compound that produces cyanide ions  when dissolved in water.

Common poisonous cyanide compounds include hydrogen cyanide gas and the crystalline solids potassium cyanide and sodium cyanide.

If cyanide is inhaled, it causes a coma with seizures, apnea and cardiac arrest, with death following in a matter of minutes.

At lower doses, loss of consciousness may be preceded by general weakness, giddiness, headaches, vertigo, confusion and perceived difficulty in breathing.



  • comment-avatar
    Rudadiso 11 years ago

    High powered only in as much as thet get fat allowances. Nothing ever comes out of these escapades.

  • comment-avatar
    Zimbo 11 years ago

    It is encouraging that the ministers took time to investigate for themselves the carnage caused to what is a beautiful and important resource. But what a load of rubbish in this report about cyanide. Cyanide has got a bad rap amongst the greenies more than it deserves. Cyanide in the form of NaCN or CaCN is usually synthesized in factories for commercial use, mainly in mining, but it also happens to be a chemical that is commonly found naturally-occurring in certain plants. Apple seeds and almonds contain reasonable levels of cyanide. Cyanide is far less poisonous than several agricultural poisons such a phostoxin and because it is more readily available it is commonly used in intentional poisoning. There has hardly been a single accidental poisoning leading to death in the gold mining industry in this country, where it has been widely used for more than a century. Cyanide DOES break-down easily especially in the presence of acids, including naturally-occurring organic and mineral acids found in most soils, it also readily breaks-down in sunlight (and oxygen) something that miners try to curb to save costs of the expensive chemical. It can literally break-down in days in a natural environment with the right conditions of exposure. Please be factual.

  • comment-avatar
    truth 11 years ago

    they jus went there to enjoy the helicopter ride

    • comment-avatar
      Zeezee 11 years ago

      and to also assess by air how many elephants are left for them to further poach! They are all involved one way or the other….

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    chris chiparaushe 11 years ago

    Please give the ministers a chance.A lot of people cry foul if nothing is done and when the ministers act people again people cry foul again.The first step is for the ministerial task force to go onto the ground to assess and appreciate the problem and then find ways of dealing with it.I think we should give them time before rushing to judge

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    ZimJim 11 years ago

    Zimbo, its not about the poison, its about the ELEPHANTS!

    Please be intelligent.