By Stanford Chiwanga
The Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, has vowed to pull out all the stops to put an end to all forms of poaching following the death of about 69 elephants from cyanide poisoning at Hwange National Park.
Addressing delegates who included the Minister of Home Affairs, Cde Kembo Mohadi and the Minister of State for Bulawayo Province, Cde Eunice Nomthandazo Moyo, at the World Rhino Day commemorations organised by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority at Bulawayo’s Centenary Park yesterday, Cde Kasukuwere, who was the keynote speaker, said the Government would go all out to fight poaching. We will not tolerate poaching; the Government will put an end to it.
I want to promise that we will put a stop to that nonsense. Let us protect our animals; it’s the responsibility of the Government to protect our animals. The Government will leave no stone unturned to protect the animals. The rhino must be protected. The elephant must be protected. The lion must be protected.
“Our children must be able to inherit these animals from us. They must be able to hand over these animals to their children and their children must hand them over to their children. Our Zimbabwe culture requires us to protect our animals not to render them extinct,” said Cde Kasukuwere.
Turning to his prepared speech, Cde Kasukuwere revealed that 95 percent of rhino deaths in Zimbabwe are due to poaching.
“One of the existing and persistent threats to the survival of our rhinos is poaching . . . I note with sadness that in 2011 we lost 35 rhinos to poaching, 22 in 2012 and this year 2013, from January to June, we have already lost eight rhinos. In 2013 the majority of the rhino poaching incidents have been carried out in some private conservancies . . . commercial and subsistence poaching by both locals and foreigners has resulted in serious threats to rhinos, elephants and other species. Poachers are utilising highly sophisticated methods that are not available to our Parks Authority. Poaching is now being led by illegal well-organised professional syndicates. Poachers have now resorted to new methods of poaching such as using poisonous substances like cyanide or temick, thus threatening not only wildlife but human beings that reside adjacent these national parks,” he said. More....