Government sanctioned hunting

Disturbing reports have been received of government sanctioned hunting, operating in Zimbabwe's part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park.
Some local tourists who visited Sumaweni camp at Buffalo bend, southwest of Gonarezhou, two weeks ago were told they had to move camp because a safari outf

it, Victoria Falls Hunters, had arrived a few days earlier with a client Mr Edd Chiziva, to hunt in the park. They were told that the safari company had government connections.
Johnny Rodrigues, Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF), said: “The next morning the tourists saw two safari vehicles leave the camp with people on the back of the vehicle holding rifles, a few minutes later they heard shots fired from a heavy caliber rifle which made them very nervous because it was so close to the camp. The tourists then decided to pack up and leave, whilst they were doing this three more shots were fired with one bullet ricocheting somewhere close by.”
When the tourists questioned the warden about the hunting he was “very apologetic” and said that he had no control over the matter at all. He also suggested that the tourists not talk about what they had seen. In addition to this incident there have been other reports of hunting and poaching in the area involving National Parks personnel. Tourists on a game drive opposite the Nyahomgwe River confluence with the Lundi River, stumbled across a camp full of National Parks employees hanging and drying vast quantities of meat which they said had come from two impala caught in traps. The tourists noted, however, that they quantity of meat was much more than two impala’s worth.
The Transfrontier Park was set up in 2003 and covers 35,000 square kilometers in Mozambique (Limpopo Park), South Africa (Kruger Park) and Zimbabwe (Gonrezhou). The park was opened by President Robert Mugabe himself along with Thabo Mbeki and Joachim Chissano in December 2002. The idea was to turn the area into a huge ecosystem to help protect the wildlife and also attract tourists from South Africa’s Kruger Park to visit Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou and Mozambique without the hassle of long border crossings.
Mr Rodrigues said that the ZCTF had reported the illegal hunting to both National Parks and the Minister of Environment and National Resources but to date had “no response whatsoever”.

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