More good news from Zimbabwe

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by richteb, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. richteb

    richteb AH Enthusiast

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    More wildlife management success (lol) by baboon Bob and his merry troop of monkeys.

    Sunday, 23 October 2011 11:39

    In March this year, Richard Emslie, chief scientific officer for the Species Survival Commission of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and head of African Rhino Specialist Group (AfRSG), told a meeting of top rhino experts gathered in South Africa that poachers had slaughtered more than 800 rhinos in Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe in 2010 alone.

    Emslie also told the three governments why the rhino conservation lobby was deeply concerned about the ongoing butchery: although good biological management and anti-poaching efforts have led to modest population-gains for both black and white African rhino, we are still very concerned about the increasing involvement of organised criminal poaching networks, and that unless the rapid escalation in poaching in recent years can be halted, continental rhino numbers could once again start to decline.

    At a local level, we are now concerned that unlike South Africa and Kenya, which took the advice of the experts and turned the tide against rhino poaching, the Zimbabwean government is not doing anything to save this endangered species. We do not understand why the government has not taken robust action to crackdown on the Harare-based, Chinese-sponsored syndicates which are responsible for rhino plunder in conservancies around the country.

    However, we fear that this is because top government and Party officials are implicated, as are members of various arms of the security forces.

    This has been proven in many court cases where poachers have turned out to be serving or retired troopers. Some ministers and top Zanu PF politicians have also been named in various reports as the prime suspects behind many poaching syndicates.

    With the rhino horn selling for as much as US$60 000 per kg on the black market, it is not difficult to understand why greedy politicians can't avoid spilling rhino blood to shorten their route to riches.

    We are even more concerned that despite numerous cases where evidence of the complicity of members of the security forces is presented in court, there seems to be no institutional measures taken to weed out poachers from among their ranks. The rhino conservation lobby is also disturbed by government in-action against the continued use of state-owned firearms in poaching. The AK-47 rifles and heavy machine guns which poachers use to kill rhinos are defined as arms of war in this country and as such, they are not sold in any gun but are owned by government, and issued only to the security forces.

    So we maintain that poachers source these high-calibre assault rifles from the national security armoury. Recently, parks-director Vitalis Chadenga told a collection of local, German and British Environmental journalists that the poaching scourge is the work of foreign syndicates. True and well said, but Zimbabweans also know that foreigners operate here with local help and enjoy protection from Party politicians, rogue elements of the security forces, parks officials and even provincial magistrates (as in one district of Matabeleland North) who are part of the syndicates.

    There is no doubt that foreigners ç¥outh Africans, Russians, Chinese, Americans, the British and the French are deeply involved. But the Gwayi
    Valley Hunting Report of 2003 which mentions these nationalities also shines a brighter light on many local politicians who colluded with the foreigners in poaching all over that Intensive Conservation Area between 2000 and 2003.

    Our fear is that the poaching crisis will escalate because Zanu PF officials, securocrats and their Chinese benefactors are too deeply involved. There is also a clear lack of political will to stop it in both factions of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) because species conservation does not seem to have a place on their agendas.

    The Parks and Wildlife Management Authority claims that the country has over 1 000 rhinos but we find this very difficult to believe because authority has no history of accuracy with figures. Instead, it has a long reputation of doctoring figures to keep poaching casualty figures as low as possible to fool the world and please the political master in Zanu PF.

    Instead of taking measures to protect rhinos, the authority is working hard to distort reality and downplay the intensity of the poaching crisis. The crisis is much bigger and it cannot be dressed up or sanitised by naked lies.

    Poaching will not stop until Zanu PF stops encouraging supporters to invade and poach with impunity in conservancies as continues to happen in Masvingo, the Save Valley, Chiredzi and Gwanda.

    The conservation of threatened species will not happen when senior politicians encourage invaders to stay put in conservancies and eat all the animals if they choose to, simply because they are the black Zanu PF followers and the conservancy owners are white like the Rhodesians used to be.
  2. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    Same story just a different day! I would hope some day they will wake up & stop the poaching, but until better judgement comes around or a new regime it will never change!
  3. Ole Bally

    Ole Bally AH Enthusiast

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    Richteb my bud, you are lamenting Africa as a continent! That said, Zim has a 'shoot to kill' policy on fire arms armed poachers. And some DO get shot here! A pity more countries don't adopt the same policy!
    I once had dinner in a hunt camp where the operator was particularly freindly with the local politicos. During dinner I had had enough and commented to this guy, " why don't you look North and learn from their mistakes instead of repeating them here?" he replied straight faced and utterly serious, " We are entitled to make OUR OWN mistakes" to which I retorted under my breath " But NOT with MY tax money!". That kind of sums up the mentality of the people we deal are dealing with. I could tell you why this all happens, but this is not the forum for it!!
    Lets keep with the happy hunting memories and leave the politics to liars!
  4. Mishigun

    Mishigun AH Member

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    A lot of things that have been said above are true.
    Hunting areas in Zimbabwe during the last 11 years have been under increasing pressure from organized poaching. And, it is absolutely true that the whole continent suffers from it. And, it's becoming worse.
    But, still you can get a good hunt in "the country of stones". Just be very careful choosing the area, and, the operator.
    My clients did not always get what they came for, but they never had a bad hunt in Zimbabwe. Again: the key is choosing the right area, and, honest people who love their job. People, who do love the profession of a professionsl hunter, do not work as professional hunters... very long.
    Be careful out there, Matetsi units are still good, Rifa, Lemco, a few others.
    Good luck,
    Mike.
  5. Mishigun

    Mishigun AH Member

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    Sorry, gentlemen,

    I have made a bad mistake in my previous message.

    I wanted to say: People, who do not love the profession of a professional hunter, do not work as professional hunters.
  6. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Another place where a countries management or miss management will lead to the loss of another species in there country.

    When palms are filled with green backs under the table many if not all will look the other way and say it was not on my watch that this happen...

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