Govt names second American in Gwayi illegal hunt

via Govt names second American in Gwayi illegal hunt – Southern Eye

The government yesterday revealed that it was investigating a second American over an alleged illegal hunt in the Gwayi River Conservancy in Matabeleland North following the killing of the iconic Cecil the lion last month.

By Staff Reporter

Cecil was killed on Antoinette Farm outside the Hwange National Park by American dentist Walter Palmer.

Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri last week called for Palmer’s extradition to face justice in Zimbabwe after local professional hunter Theo Bronkhorst was charged for failing to prevent an illegal hunt.

Honest Ndlovu, who runs Antoinette Farm is expected to be charged at the Hwange Magistrates Court this week.

The government said it had since directed the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife management Authority (Zimparks) to investigate illegal hunting activities.

According to a statement by the Environment Ministry, Headman Sibanda who owns Railway Farm 31, also in the Gwayi Conservancy, had been arrested for assisting Jan Casmir Sieski carry out an illegal hunt.

“The investigations have since found and arrested another culprit, Headman Sibanda, on allegations of breaching hunting regulations in that he hunted without a quota and permit at his Railway Farm 31 and is also the owner of Nyala Safaris, which conducted the hunt,” the statements said.

“It has since been established that his client is also an American called Jan Casmir Sieski who was in the country in April 2015. Sieski’s registered the following address on the TRAS 2, 4660 Twin Oaks Drive, Murrysville PA, 15668, Pennysyvania. Sibanda is currently assisting police with investigations.”

The government said it had tightened hunting regulations outside national parks after it banned the bow hunting of lions, leopards and elephants.

It appealed to donors to assist Zimparks to monitor the hunting industry as the ban was likely to negatively impact on its finances.

“Government is very much aware of the financial implications on the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, the safari industry, Campfire communities and wildlife producers affected by this suspension and therefore appeals for funding from the donor community and well-wishers to assist Zimbabwe Parks and Management Authority to thoroughly investigate operations of this important hunting industry,” the statement added.

“Financial resources generated will ensure that Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has sufficient capacity to monitor the activities of this important hunting industry as required by law.

“Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has set up specific wildlife conservation and monitoring fund for this purpose.”

Zimparks has organised an urgent meeting for wildlife producers, professional hunters, Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe, Campfire districts, wildlife civic society groups and Zimbabwe Conservation Task force at its headquarters in Harare to discuss the crisis.