By Regis Mhako
GOVERNMENT has underscored the need to strengthen the capacity of Zimparks’ anti poaching unit through the provision of more resources.
After tasting the exciting experience offered by Mana pools campsite in the Zambezi Valley Environment recently, the Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Honourable Mangaliso Ndlovu made a pledge to engage his Finance and Economic Development counterpart, Professor Mthuli Ncube, to request for more resources for the Zimparks anti-poaching unit.
“We have registered some massive successes in terms of combating poaching. The area they are covering is 12 000 km2. We are advised there are different species targeted by poachers especially elephants. I am happy with the work they are putting in despite the fact that they face sophisticated poachers. Among the critical issues that were raised have to do with resources which issue I will raise especially with my colleague, the Minister of Finance. We are advised that for the 120000 KMS our rangers are sharing about five cars and we are worried about that,” said Ndlovu.
The Minister of State for Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Honourable Mary Mliswa is upbeat about the conservation efforts in the Mana Pools area and called on locals to sample the beauty of the tourism sites in the province.
“This tour to Manna Pools has been a great experience for me. It has given me an appreciation that we have in our province and the low hanging fruits that we have in the tourism sector. We are saying we are Zimbabwe and let us know our country. Let us come out here and experience our tourism life. It is terrible to find that somebody in Germany can tell you more about what’s in Zimbabwe than you who is here,” she said.
Meanwhile, Zimparks Zambezi Valley Cluster Manager, Mr Felix Chimeramombe says some 73 wildlife poachers were nabbed last year, with 4 rifles being recovered.
“In 2019 we arrested 73 poachers. These exclude fish poachers. These are poachers targeting wildlife, These are commercial poachers.”
He said there is need for harmonisation of policies with neighbouring Zambia to strengthen conservation efforts.