President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday paid a visit to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority to familiarise himself with the operations of the organisation. Addressing journalists after the tour, Zimparks director-general Mr Fulton Mangwanya said they invited the President to appreciate their operations. “We invited him to see what we are doing as national parks,” he said.
“As you know, the national parks is part of the cog of tourism and as you know the President is on the drive to make sure that tourism picks up. Visitors come here for the heritage that we have and what we are doing is to push up tourism so that we benefit as a country.”
Mr Mangwanya said they had also introduced the President to Akashinga, an all-female team of rangers from Nyamakati in Hurungwe.
“We have these ladies who are doing a task which was usually done by men and it’s so encouraging because in a lot of communities we actually have a lot of these ladies who are doing nothing and they actually assist in the conservation of our wildlife resources and it goes a long way in preserving our animals,” he said.
The women were trained with the assistance of a non-governmental organisation to carry out community conservation and improve their livelihoods. Meanwhile, Mr Mangwanya said investigations into the origins of the ivory that was intercepted at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport recently were ongoing.
Zimparks intercepted 200kg of Malaysia bound ivory valued at $1 million. A number of poachers have been arrested or killed in shoot-outs with Zimparks rangers in the country’s wildlife reserves. Several elephants have been killed by poachers through cyanide poisoning, especially in Hwange. – (inset from Zimpapers)