Poaching has spread like cancer in Zim: Minister

via Poaching has spread like cancer in Zim: Minister – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 19, 2015

Environment, Water and Climate minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri says poaching has spread to other parts of the country, as more national parks employees are fingered in the scandal.

by XOLISANI NCUBE

Addressing a Press briefing in the capital yesterday, Muchinguri said poachers, working in cahoots with disgruntled game rangers, had now spread to other game parks, targeting the country’s lucrative wildlife and using sophisticated means to kill animals.

“It is of concern to us now because the poachers have resorted to use other strategies like that of poisoning the elephants. We are concerned now because it is also no longer just concentrated at Hwange National Park. We have seen also developments around the Kariba area and also we have had challenges in Mana Pools, we are really concerned that, while we wanted to concentrate our efforts on Hwange, we are now seeing the poachers moving to other areas,” she said.

In the past months, elephants in Hwange have come under threat from poachers who have been using cyanide, a lethal chemical compound, to kill the protected animals.

Muchinguri said from their investigations, game rangers had been implicated in poaching, saying this was largely due to poor working conditions that most of them have been exposed to.

“Within National Parks, we have our own rangers, who man our parks on a day-to-day basis, and most of this poaching is happening not far away from our camps. So we are worried that this is a new feature, which is happening within our closest environment,” she said.

“We had to engage the rangers so we could understand why this was happening and what the problems affecting them were and one of the reasons they pointed out was that they had some grievances and some of those rangers ended up being involved in poaching.”

Muchinguri said wildlife poaching and trafficking was a national security issue, not just a conservation matter, as it was being conducted by sophisticated transnational organised criminal networks.

The minister said she had since roped in the military, police and intelligence to deal with the crisis, which if not handled properly, might expose the country to international challenges.

Recently, 11 elephants were killed by cyanide poisoning in Hwange, while three were found dead in Matusadona National Park in Kariba.

Conservationists believe that Africa is losing elephants and rhinos through a combination of determined criminal gangs, corrupt government officials and a strong market for smuggled ivory, especially in Asian countries, particularly China.

Meanwhile, government is today set to launch the national climate change response strategy, which Muchinguri said would help the country craft its position with regard to COP 21, a final policy document on climate change.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 3
  • comment-avatar
    spiralx 7 years ago

    …mainly because the utter incompetence of the regime has led to widespread desperation with permanent unemployment for 80% of the population. Yes?

  • comment-avatar
    harper 7 years ago

    The problem has been solved for our area, there is no more poaching – there is no more game to be poached.

  • comment-avatar
    Mlimo 7 years ago

    The Zimbabwean philosophy is if you cant steal it , shoot it, kill it , burn it, sell it then rape it or murder it, or eat it. Thats why there is nothing left there.