1722 rhino poached out of Kruger National Park since 2010
Enviro journalist, Elise Templehof, recently visited the Mozambiquan town of Messingir where she met a young man, Fàbio Ngovene -20 (name changed to protect him ) who would like to see an end to rhino poaching.
He carries a dirty notebook with him, pages and pages containing the names, into the hundreds, of local people who have been arrested over the last few years for rhino related crimes.
‘’ Each one of them caught with rhino horns in their possession, brought before a court of law and simply let go again’’ he says.
Fabio reckons that all the 25 000 residents of this village rely solely on the false economy created by rhino poaching.
The town of Massingir, resulted in the building of the Massingir dam and was expected to develop & grow as Eco Tourism to the area grew, however, there is absolutely no sign of tourism in this area. It would appear that the ever-growing residents of Messingir, are doing very well without any obvious industry if one goes by the double story houses and luxury 4 x4’s that can be found all over this town.
(Gettin angry yet?)
Even Mozambiques president, Armando Guebuza, was impressed having said, during a recent visit to the town ‘’This is how a town should look that is benefiting from a growing economy’’ .
Fabio also says that when he personally told the President the REAL reason behind this so-called economic growth, he simply nodded his head and had nothing further to say.
(How about now?)
Fabio and his ‘merry band of mates’ are fighting an underground war against the people who have become stinking rich off the back of our rhino, since 2011.
He mentions three kingpins by name, in particular a Mr Navara. These individuals in particular, lived in modest mud houses in poverty, just a few years ago. Now they live in obvious and opulent luxury.
South Africa’s Green Scorpions reckon that there are as many as 20 syndicate bosses operating in Massingir and another 10 in Maputo.
According to Martins Antonio, a private investigator working in this area, rhino horns from poached KNP rhino are transported via helicopter from Messigir to Maputo
A shopping centre owner ( Name withheld by RAPPORT due to legal implications ) then takes possession of the horns and with the help of diplomats from the Vietnamese Embassyin Maputo, shipped to the East. The shopping centre owner is apparently house friends with Mosambiques president. Jeremy Anderson of the Wildlife and Environment Society in South Africa (Wessa) says the SAP and Organised Crime have been aware of ‘Mr Navara’s’ activities and his whereabouts for the last two years, yet nothing has been done to apprehend him.
The full RAPPORT article - http://www.rapport.co.za/Weekliks/Kollig/Kollig-Bloedgeld-koop-n-dorpie-se-voorspoed-20140614
And is if the above is not insult enough, read on ….
‘’ Some Mozambican policemen are also involved, by hiring guns out to poachers, Couto said.
He noted that the same police gun was seized from poachers in South Africa and returned to the Mozambican police three times.
Police involvement in poaching was so rampant that the entire police unit in Massingir, on the border with the Kruger Park, was transferred at the start of this year.Poaching had also “contaminated” staff in the Limpopo National Park. Couto said that several wardens and senior park officials were recently sacked for their involvement in these illicit activities.
Full report - http://allafrica.com/stories/201406190619.html?viewall=1
WHAT YOU CAN DO
It becomes increasingly difficult to have faith in our authorities, but what choice do we have as ordinary citizens we are not in any way part of any decision-making, we are not privy to what is ACTUALLY going on and hear only snippets of info as contained in the above articles.
What we do have are our voices. I urge you to put ‘pen to paper’ and appeal to the authorities to do much, MUCH more than they say they already are.
Albi Modise – Chief Director: Communications/Spokesperson at National Department of Environmental Affairs
Mozambique High Commisioner – His Excellency, Fernando A Fazenda
Fax: +27 12 326 6388