By Clement Mukwasi
Players in the tourism and private sectors have urged the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority to appoint honorary rangers in a bid to curb massive poaching which has seen many animals killed in the last few months. Speaking at a victory celebration party for Cde Mathew Muleya, a Zanu-PF ward 19 councillor in Victoria Falls, Anti-poaching Unit member Mr Charles Brightman said that his institution would be of great value if the Parks Authority would appoint members of the public as honorary rangers’ thereby increasing access and patrols into the parks by well-wishers.
“The Parks and wildlife Management Authority should consider giving people of integrity the honorary ranger status. This will seriously increase access into the park by friends of the environment and certainly that may mitigate the poaching problems that are bedeviling our nation at the moment,” he said.
Wilderness Safaris managing director Mr Ron Goatley said his company had started a programme called “Children in the Wilderness” which targeted the youth and invited them to visit camps that are in the parks for them to have an appreciation of the value of wildlife.
“This is a programme which targets children and in turn, we believe that they will be able to influence their parents and communities to abstain from poaching activities. The pilot projects are running mainly in the Tsholotsho District.
“We teach the children that if there is no wildlife, there is no tourism and in turn there are no jobs for their parents,” he said.
House of Assembly for Hwange East Constituency Cde Bekithemba Mpofu said all the people who are involved in such illegal activities should be severely punished to deter would-be offenders. More....