ZRP, Zimparks in joint operation

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) are conducting joint operations meant to curb poaching around the country. It is believed that Zimparks is also pushing for a law that criminalises cyanide possession – a lethal chemical that is used to poison wildlife – especially in areas where there are no mining activities. Over the years, Hwange National Park has become the prime target for poachers who use cyanide to poison animals, especially elephants.

In an interview yesterday, Zimparks public relations manager Mr Tinashe Farawo said poaching declined markedly over the past four months, particularly in Hwange.

He noted that poaching activities had largely been contained as a result of support from the new political administration.
“Some of the reasons that have led to the decrease in poaching cases are that there is now political will from the highest office to deal with poaching,” said Mr Farawo.

“Since the coming in of the new leadership, poaching has been going down.”
Mr Farawo said so far this year, Zimparks had not received any reports of poaching involving cyanide poisoning or through use of rifles.

According to Mr Farawo, joint operations between police and the wildlife management body were being successful.
“We are having positive results and we are also embarking on awareness campaigns with the judiciary and various stakeholders,” he said.

“The judiciary has also been very supportive. We are, however, in the process of lobbying for a Statutory Instrument that will make it an offence to possess cyanide, especially in non-mining areas.”

Last year, 640 poachers were arrested across the country, of which 590 were locals and 50 were foreigners.
Also, 50 rifles and 112 rounds of ammunition were recovered.

It is understood that more than half the arrested poachers have since been convicted.
Statistics indicate that about 893 elephants were killed in Matabeleland North province between 2013 and 2016.
Zimbabwe has arguably the largest elephant population in Africa at 84 000, with the figure being 34 000 more than the country’s carrying capacity.

 Insert from herald : Freeman Razemba Crime Reporter

ZimParks launches kapenta project at Tugwi-Mukosi

THE Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has launched a multi-million-dollar kapenta fish project at Tugwi-Mukosi Dam in Chivi as efforts continue to ensure that the country starts accruing socio-economic benefits from Zimbabwe’s largest inland water body.

About 100 000 fingerlings have since been stocked in the nearly $300 million reservoir for breeding purposes under the kapenta fish project.

The project is being rolled out under Government’s Command Fisheries programme.

In his address during a ceremony to mark the official stocking of kapenta at Tugwi-Mukosi last week, Masvingo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Senator Josaya Hungwe hailed the Command Fisheries programme for its role in accelerating socio-economic development in the country.

Senator Hungwe said Command Fisheries was being intensified countrywide at a time Zimbabwe was celebrating the successful implementation of the Command Agriculture programme which saw farmers delivering at least two million tonnes of maize to the Grain Marketing Board in the 2016-17 farming season.

“Following the successful launch of the Command Agriculture programme, Government has embarked on other programmes to complement it. The Command Livestock, Command Fisheries and Wildlife Management and other programmes such as Command Water Harvesting have been initiated countrywide,” said Sen Hungwe.

He said Command Agriculture and Fisheries were welcome in the province which is home to many underutilised water bodies.

“The Command Fisheries programme today has brought the much admired kapenta fish to Masvingo. This is not only historical, but it is a great milestone for the province.”

Senator Hungwe said for a long time, Lake Kariba was the only source of kapenta fish in Zimbabwe.

The fisheries industry has been producing approximately 9 000 tonnes of fresh kapenta equating to 3 000 tonnes of dry weight per annum.

The industry has also been contributing about $15 million to the national economy annually.

“All these economic benefits are now coming to Masvingo province with Tugwi-Mukosi Dam set to be the second largest water body after Kariba Dam to be stocked with kapenta fish.”

The introduction of kapenta at Tugwi-Mukosi is expected to boost the ecology at Zimbabwe’s largest inland dam which was officially commissioned in May last year.

Most of the fish of economic significance and presence in the lake do not generally occupy the open pelagic water and is therefore vacant.

A number of dams across the country have also benefited from the Command Fisheries project and in Masvingo a cumulative 225 000 fingerlings have already been stocked in four different dams in the province.

Siya Dam in Bikita received 1 000 fingerlings, while Mabvute and Nyatare in Zaka received 2 000 and 2 500 fingerlings respectively.


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Zimparks guns down hippo in Nyanyadzi

August 31, 2017August 31, 2017
Inset from Zimpapers. THE Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority last week shot dead a hippopotamus that was damaging winter wheat in Nyanyadzi. The hippo, which had a calf, is believed to have escaped from Save Conservancy. ZPWMA ordered the shooting of the hippos after traditional leaders in the area reported that it was damaging crops and endangering lives. ZPWMA officer, Mr John Danfa, said they were still hunting for the calf which is believed to have found habitat along Save River. “Usually hippos move up and down rivers during the rainy season. We believe the two escaped from Save Valley Conservancy. They were both females and they do not usually click if there is no male. “They are believed to have separated. We received reports from traditional leaders in Hot Springs and Nyanyadzi that these hippos were feeding on wheat and crops in their fields.” “People’s lives were endangered so the authorities ordered its killing. The first time we attempted to kill it, it was in the company of so many cattle and could not do anything. Our officer teamed up with villagers to track it until last week when it was shot down in Nyanyadzi”. The officer is said to have fired 12 shots before the hippo died. The meat was shared by villagers. One of the villagers in Dirikwe village, Mr Tapiwa Munyati, said: “This hippo was becoming a threat to human lives in the area. It was being spotted near homes at night. “There are vegetable gardens along one of Save River’s tributaries where it was being spotted.“We were told that hippos do not like light and the danger was that lives would have been lost.” “A villager survived death by a whisker recently when the hippo strayed into his homestead.“He went out of his house to investigate when his dogs were barking. He had a torch and the hippo advanced towards him. “Fortunately he managed to escape the attack and notified other villagers and the village head. We are appealing to the responsible authorities to make sure that the remaining one is also killed,” said Mr Munyati.