Mnangagwa fumes over ivory, rhino horns

Mnangagwa fumes over ivory, rhino horns
Published: 16 July 2019
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has castigated foreign countries for what he termed interference in the way the country should manage its natural resources, especially the ballooning ivory and rhino horn stockpiles.

Mnangagwa revealed at the recently-held African Union and United Nations Wildlife Economy Summit in Victoria Falls that the country was sitting on stockpiles of rhino horns and ivory worth US$600 million, money which is enough to fund activities around the wildlife industry.

Although Zimbabwe is determined to clear the stockpiles, that cannot happen without permission from the Convention of on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), which among other things enforces the ban on rhino and ivory trade.

Zimbabwe currently has 84 000 elephants and rhinos, but has a carrying capacity of a 54 000 herd. According to Mnangagwa, the ivory and rhino horns are kept in safe houses.

Zimbabwe sold 100 elephants to China and Dubai in May last year in an effort to raise cash. The deal was worth US$2,7 million and will be paid over six years.

Speaking at Mafararikwa church shrine in Marange at the weekend, Mnangagwa expressed frustration at the prospect of not being able to liquidate the bound.

"We had a United Nations meeting recently where leaders from other countries tried to lecture us on how to manage our wildlife. Vakadya mhuka dzavo dzikapera. Zvose zvavakapihwa naMwari havachina.

Ndokuchiuya kuno kuzoti lecture nezveshumba, nenzou nenyati, voda kutipa mitemo hanzi musadayi musadayi. Dzenyu dzakaendepi?

"Saka ndakavati dzokerai kwenyu, dzedu takapihwa naMwari tichadzitonga sokuda kwedu (They ate their wildlife and finished. They no longer have natural resources given to them by God. Now they come here and want to lecture us on how to preserve our wildlife. I told them to leave us alone to preside over our natural resources as we please).

Addressing the same gathering, Mnangagwa reiterated that his leadership was God-given.

"Leadership comes from God. No one gets such responsibility against God's will, but once chosen to lead, one must serve people and not oppress them merely because God favoured them to lead.

"I will be your servant and I will listen to your grievances. You said as followers of St Noah, you know one thing - respecting what your leader tells you. Through your leader St Noah you promised to vote for me. I will not abandon you," Mnangagwa told the congregants.
- dailynews