Robert Mugabe’s Marxist regime has unleashed a new wave of slaughter against wildlife in Zimbabwe. Conservationists who have been struggling to rehabilitate the wildlife after the devastation caused by Mugabe’s chaotic farm invasions are reeling under new threats. The farm invasions mobilised party militants to invade and loot 5,000 White owned farms. This also included mobs of thousands storming into game reserves, both private and state, to slaughter huge herds of animals and deliberately set fire to vast areas and forests just to drive the animals towards their traps and guns.
President Robert Mugabe then instructed national park officials to kill wild animals, in state owned conservation areas, to feed the hungry peasants. These were people who were suffering from the man made famine of Mugabe’s confiscation of White owned commercial farms.
This move threatens to wipe out what remains of Zimbabwe’s wildlife, including impala, kudus, wildebeest, buffalo, giraffes, elephants, lions, leopards and cheetahs.
One well-published incident was the shooting of elephants, by national part game rangers, for ZANU-PF Youth festivities.
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force has reported on agonising deaths by traps, snares, planks with hundreds of nails placed on hippo paths, agonising deaths and intense cruelty perpetrated against animals in what use to be wildlife sanctuaries. Despite the worldwide moratorium on ivory sales, the ZCTF has reported on tonnes of ivory being exported to Asia: “It is an organised business and government officials and police are involved.”
Most of the wildlife in Zimbabwe have been senselessly slaughtered by bloodthirsty mobs of ZANU-PF war veterans and youth militia. Vast herds of elephant and the Black Rhino, cheetah, leopard and antelope have been snared, speared, shot or blown up. Huge forests have been destroyed and entire game reserves have been devastated by Marxist mobs in Zimbabwe. Some herds of elephant and buffalo have been straffed by jet fighters and helicopter gunships of the Zimbabwe Air Force.
Along with the wholesale poaching, mobs have been engaged in wholesale theft, abduction and murder. Properties have been burned out, tourists have been chased out of safari camps, game rangers have been disarmed, severely assaulted and on occasion murdered.
There are also reports of foreign hunters being allowed into National Parks and game reserves in Zimbabwe to shoot lions, leopards, and cheetahs for trophies in exchange for hefty bribes to politicians.
“How long will the land lie parched and the grass and every field be withered? Because those who live in it are wicked, the animals and the birds have perished.” Jeremiah 12:4
What makes this renewed killing spree in Zimbabwe all the more ominous is the Trans Frontier Park, which allows animals from Mozambique and South Africa’s world famous Kruger National Park to move freely into and out of Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou (home of the elephants) National Park. Although there had been high hopes in South Africa that Zimbabwe’s wildlife sector could be restored to its former glory, it now appears that the free movement of animals from South Africa’s Kruger National Park through Mozambique into Zimbabwe is merely providing new victims for Mugabe’s killing fields.
“A good man takes care of his animals, but wicked men are cruel to theirs.” Proverbs 12:10
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Protect the rights of all who are helpless.” Proverbs 31:8
Dr. Peter Hammond
P O Box 74
Cape Town South Africa