Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi says poachers killing animals on Zimbabwe's wildlife reserves could soon have to contend with soldiers.
Sekeramayi says he is weighing up the option of sending troops to the parks after poachers used cyanide to poison water sources, killing at least 90 elephants at Hwange National Park - the third largest wildlife sanctuary in Africa.
"This is an emergency, and we have to take all the necessary measures to respond to it. If it becomes necessary we might consider deploying the military to protect the animals," Sekeramayi told reporters during a tour of the national park by six ministers.
The six ministers were briefed by Edson Chidziya, the director general of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority of Zimbabwe who said conservation efforts had been affected by sanctions imposed by Western countries.
"The World Bank wanted to come in with US$67 million for aerial surveys and other activities but politics set in and the funds were denied. Our funders are dancing to the tune of their capitals and funding has dried up," he said.
"Some of the areas that were supported include aerial surveys, borehole drilling transport, fuel and so on."
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo told reporters: "If those countries that imposed sanctions would remove them it would become unnecessary to deploy the army." More....