Saturday 16 December 2017


SELF-EXILED former Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs Mandi Chimene, is alleged to have forcibly taken elephant meat valued at $1 800 early this year from Cecil Kop Nature Reserve. Police have confirmed receipt of a report under RRB No. 3396970 of 12/12/2017 made by the member-in-charge of Cecil Kop Nature Reserve, Mr Michael Peter Hitschmann. Mr Hitschmann is also a member of the Wildlife and Environment Zimbabwe Committee which manages the Cecil Kop Nature Reserve.

The only two elephants that were housed at Cecil Kop Nature Reserve were gunned down after they trampled a police officer who was on border patrol duties on July 18, 2017. In his self-recorded statement to the police, Mr Hitschmann said: “On July 24, 2017, two adult elephants were shot dead at Cecil Kop after causing the death of Constable Dambe who was attached to the Support Unit on July 18, 2017.  “The carcasses of these elephants were then processed to remove the meat for sale, with all proceeds expected to go to the coffers of Cecil Kop Nature Reserve as these elephants were their property.

“I was advised by Dominic Mubvanyika (Parks and Wildlife Management Authority’s officer-in-charge) that Mandi Chimene was demanding a full pick-up load of elephant meat at no charge for her own use and that she had instructed him to collect it immediately from Cecil Kop and deliver it to her. He did so at around 4.30pm on the same day,” said Mr Hitschmann.

He added: “Having had a lot of problems caused by her threatening attitude and false utterances from July 18 onwards, we felt that we had no choice but to comply with this demand.

Mr Hitschmann said Chimene had no right to demand any meat from Cecil Kop Nature Reserve and in so doing she prejudiced the organisation, Wildlife and Environment Zimbabwe, of $1 800 being the value of the meat that she took.

“Her actions, he said, constituted criminal abuse of office as Cecil Kop Nature Reserve officials were not in a position to challenge her demand. He also accused Chimene of inciting youths to invade the nature reserve and allocate themselves stands during her Heroes’ Day address at the Manicaland Provincial Heroes Shrine on August 14.

“During the course of her speech and while addressing Zanu-PF youth members that were in attendance, the accused alleged that there was a lot of ‘wasted land’ available in Cecil Kop Nature Reserve and that she would make it her business to ensure that all the deserving youths would be allocated housing stands within that area.

“This statement was false, inflammatory and she made this statement being fully aware that she had no authority or right to make such an offer since the land is legally leased for 99 years as a nature reserve and is not available for housing. The accused person’s false and inflammatory statement constituted an abuse of her authority and, furthermore, was made with the intention of causing disruption of the lawful activities of the Wildlife and Environment Zimbabwe in managing Cecil Kop Nature Reserve,” said Mr Hitschmann.

Ms Chimene’s whereabouts are unknown since her return from an official trip in China last month. Efforts to reach her and get her side of the story were in vain as her phone is no longer reachable. Manica post


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