Tuesday, 4 September 2018


 Zimbabweans have expressed outrage over the government’s donation of 10 white rhinos to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and have since launched an online petition for the reversal of the decision.

According to the online petition started by the Zimbabwe Tourism Centre, Zimbabwe needs to protect the country’s resources.

“The government of Zimbabwe is exporting 10 endangered White Rhinos to war-torn DRC from Matobo which already has dwindled number of Rhinos. The Rhino population in DRC was wiped out of existence by poaching.

“…We need the government of Zimbabwe to respect the Zimbabwean people’s resources…To protect instead of plundering the wildlife resources by stopping these exports now and in the future,” the organisation said.

The rhinos, according to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks), are being sourced from Lake Chivero, Kyle Recreational Parks and Matopo National Park.

In a statement, ZimParks, said rhinos at Lake Chivero and Kyle Recreational Parks have reached near ecological carrying capacity and the translocation is part of destocking in line with approved national rhino conservation and management strategy.
According to the organisation, the donation is part of a programme to enhance regional rhino conservation.

“According to IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Rhino Specialist Group, 98 percent of the world’s white rhino population occurs in just four countries worldwide and that is South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya.

“Thus, Zimbabwe is one of the major white rhino range States hence a source country for rhino range expansion to other countries or private stakeholders.

“The translocation is being done adhering to local and international wildlife translocation protocols particularly IUCN rhino pre-translocation guidelines and the African Rhino Range States’ African Rhino Conservation Plan,” ZimParks said.

Politician and former Cabinet minister David Coltart said Zimbabweans need to challenge the government’s decision to donate the rhinos.

“If Zimbabweans remain mute and inactive over the outrageous export of one our best tourist assets — our Rhinos — to the DRC then we deserve the government we have.
“They will know they can literally rape us all and nothing will happen. Speak out #Zimbabwe or else you’ll regret,” he wrote on his Twitter account.

DRC lost its Northern white rhino population to extinction largely due to poaching, according to ZimParks, which has resulted in many people questioning the safety of the animals once in that country.

Prominent lawyer Alex Magaisa also questioned the generosity of the donation.
“Grew up being told rhinos were endangered species, in particular the white rhino.
“Did we grow our stock to the level that we can afford to be this generous? Just a donation?” he queried on Twitter.

Another Twitter user by the name Dr Nelson Ruwa had reservations for the move which was done without the consensus of the Zimbabwean people.

“Such donations which include animals owned by every Zimbabwean and the future generations should have some sort of consensus, such as Parliamentary endorsement.
“Since inauguration, there is no Cabinet and Parliament, who donated the white rhinos in the name of Zimbabwe?” he asked. Daily News


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