THE Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) yesterday got a shot in the arm after it received 12 vehicles to assist rangers in the fight against poaching.
Mbada Diamonds donated 10 landrovers worth $561 000 to the parks authority to assist rangers in anti-poaching activities while Econet wireless donated one truck and pledged to install electronic tracking devices on trucks donated by Mbada Diamonds.
Zimoco donated one double-cab vehicle.
Speaking at the official handover of two boats purchased by his ministry for the Lake Kariba Fisheries Research Institute in Harare yesterday Environment, Water and Climate minister Saviour Kasukuwere said fish poaching continued to escalate.
“Anti-poaching strategies alone do not work without stiffer sentences. My ministry hails sentences that were passed to the perpetrators of the Hwange ecological disaster.
“However we will continue to lobby for consistency in the passing of stiffer sentences for wildlife,” he said.
“We are deploying our rangers, for now we are on top of the situation, so we will not be getting help from the defence forces.
“We have contacted all the other international bodies on the issue and now we are incorporating the corporates as well to assist us in our efforts to win the war against poaching.”
In response to the Hwange disaster where at least 90 elephants have been killed due to cyanide poisoning , Kasukuwere said a team of a board of trustees to oversee fundraising activities for Zimparks had been appointed.
“I am pleased that these leaders who today will be unveiled as our trustees are distinguished citizens of this country.
“This board of trustees will see us succeed in our conservation efforts,” Kasukuwere said.
Baker, Tilly and Gwatidzo chief executive officer Phibion Gwatidzo will chair the board which also comprises conservationist Clive Stockhill, Econet Wireless marketing director Isaiah Nyangari, Steward Bank chief executive officer Kwanele Ngwenya, Environment Africa executive director Charlene Hewett, Zimoco chief executive officer Bob Crossley, lawyer Moses Mtombeni and Mbada Diamonds chief administration officer major Majaha Mahlangu.
Tourism and Hospitality minister Walter Mzembi said his ministry would work closely with Kasukuwere’s ministry to ensure that biodiversity was conserved for future generations.