Keep records on cyanide imports, Zimra told

via Keep records on cyanide imports, Zimra told | The Herald October 30, 2015

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has been implored to keep records of organisations and individuals who import cyanide to make it easier to trace culprits using the chemical to kill elephants in national parks.

Speaking in Harare on Wednesday, chairman of the Zimbabwe chapter of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube, said control of cyanide use was complex, hence the need to regulate it.

“It is difficult to control the usage of cyanide because we do not know who has it, so Zimra must keep all the records of organisations and individuals who import the chemical,” he said.

Rtd Col Dube said the Ministry of Industry and Commerce should first certify if an individual or organisation was qualified to import dangerous chemicals such as cyanide.

He said this would ensure harmful chemicals did not end up in the wrong hands like those of poachers.

This comes in the wake of the recent indiscriminate poisoning of elephants, with the number of elephants killed through cyanide poisoning rising to 60 at Hwange National Park in the last five weeks.

Rtd Col Dube said cyanide poisoning did not only affect elephants, but other animals which drink water from the same poisoned reservoirs.

“Even if those animals that drink the water do not die instantly, other animals like lions, leopards and hyenas which kill and eat those poisoned animals will also die,” he said.

Rtd Col Dube announced that he would be leaving the chairmanship of OPCW as he was now busy with other Government commitments.

He was recently appointed the Deputy Minister for Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators and Former Political Detainees.

The OPCW promotes and verifies adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention which prohibits the use of chemical weapons and advocates their destruction.


  • comment-avatar
    harper 7 years ago

    If the cyanide has been legally imported ZIMRA will have records but it is not their function to control stocks within the country. As the principal use for cyanide is in gold extraction it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Mines to exercise control. When Zimbabwe’s cyanide was supplied by ICI Acrylics in the UK a tight watch was kept on usage inside Zimbabwe. The present lack of control is the result of stocks being imported from other suppliers as part of the look east policy and a useless former Minister of Mines failure to exercise control.