Zimbabwe Suspends Hunting

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Zimbabwe Suspends Hunting
by Chenai Maramba


HARARE – Zimbabwe has suspended wildlife hunting licences in what sources said was part of efforts to curb poaching that has been on the rise since the start of the year.

The Department of National Parks and Wildlife, in charge of national parks in the country, flighted adverts in the press on Monday warning permit holders currently on hunting sessions to stop hunting with immediate effect.

''National Parks and Wildlife Authority would like to warn the public that all current hunting permits have been suspended with immediate effect to verify them,” the advert said, adding; “All current permit holders are advised to approach the Parks Authority to verify validity of their permits.''

National Parks director general Morris Mutsambiwa could not be reached for comment.

However, a senior official with a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) that campaigns against poaching said suspension of permits was aimed at curbing poaching and abuse of hunting permits that has seen the country losing thousands of dollars in potential earnings from trophy hunting.

''National Parks is reacting to numerous reports of poaching, over-hunting of quotas by hunters as well as abuse of permits,'' said the NGO official who declined to be named for fear of victimisation.

Last month National Parks officials blamed the upsurge in poaching in the country on a cartel of international gangsters they said were funding poachers to kill valuable game such as the rhino that is hunted for its horn.

Zimbabwe is one of four countries in the world that still have significant populations of rhinos. The other three all in Africa are Kenya, Namibia and South Africa.

Wildlife authorities in the country have found it hard to contain poaching in national parks especially after landless villagers began invading – with the government’s tacit approval – white-owned farms in 2000.

There have also been widespread reports of illegal and uncontrolled trophy hunting on former white-owned conservancies now controlled by powerful politicians from President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF party.

The government however denies that politicians are illegally hunting game and insists it still has poaching under control.


Source: ZimOnline
 

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Parks Suspends Hunting Licenses

Parks Suspends Hunting Licenses


THE Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) has suspended all hunting permits in order to carry out a verification exercise on their validity, amid indications that some safari hunters might be holding fake permits.

In an interview yesterday, ZPWMA Director-General Dr Morris Mutsambiwa said following numerous allegations of illegal activities in the hunting sector, it was seen fit to carry out the verification exercise.

He said in recent weeks there have been plenty of accusations that have been flying around, hence the need to investigate the state of the sector to come up with a true position.

“There are a lot of accusations flying around regarding the current holders of hunting permits,” he said.

“As an authority we have therefore seen it fit to get onto the ground and find out for ourselves. It is our hope that all those that have been issued with hunting permits would come forward to clear their names,” he said,

He said given that hunting is taken as a sport, it would be in the interests of permit-holders to do so within the confines of the law.

In a statement yesterday, the authority said the verification includes any hunting currently under way and ending on 31 December.

“Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority would like to advise the public that all hunting permits have been suspended with immediate effect for the purposes of verifying them.

“All current hunting permit-holders are advised to approach the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority head office to verify the validity of their permits. Verification of hunting permits includes any hunting currently under way and ending on 31 December 2009,” said the authority in a statement.
The media has been awash with allegations of rampant poaching, especially of the endangered black rhinos.

Mr Vitalis Chadenga, operations director of the authority last week told the local media that from January to October this year, the country had lost 65 elephants through poaching.

“In the same period we have lost 24 black and six white rhinos. It is true that we have a group of international gangsters, who are funding poachers around this part of the world. We have arrested 2 500 poachers and 10 have been shot dead since the beginning of this year,” said Mr Chadenga said.


Source: Chronicle
 

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