Wildlife depleted: headman

The wildlife in the Chishakwe and Humani conservancy is facing extinction, following an increase in poaching by newly resettled farmers, headman Ishmael Makatenga, has claimed.

“Ryan Whyte, the white farmer who owned Mukazi farm before he was driven away, was a conservationist at heart. He built his homestead, now converted to Mukazi Primary School, on top of a mountain surrounded by a thick forest. There are no longer any trees to talk about as the newly resettled farmers indiscriminately cut them down to clear the land to grow cotton,” said Makatenga.

“Cotton grows well in this area and recently cotton companies like Cottco, Grafax, Tera Fern and Cargil set up a base here to buy cotton from the farmers who regard the cash crop as the only solution to their financial problems.”

The headman said that elephants, giraffes, warthogs, kudus, and zebras have all moved eastwards towards the Save River following the destruction of their homeland by marauding farmers.

“Their numbers had seriously dwindled owing to poaching. I don’t think future generations will know what these animals look like since they are facing extinction if authorities do not act to stop the poaching and cutting down of trees,” Makatenga said.

Meanwhile, the government is uncertain as to where the money to relocate the thousands of people of the Chitsa clan from Gonarezhou will come from. There are reports that the matter will be discussed in Parliament, according to Masvingo Governor, Titus Maluleke, under whose jurisdiction Chishakwe and the Humani Range fall.

Post published in: Environment

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