Conservationist under attack in Chiredzi

Some rowdy villagers in Chiredzi are disrupting the farming operations of conservationist, Theresa Warth of Wasara Ranch. Warth is leading figure in anti-poaching operations in the area.

Police in Chiredzi confirmed to the Zimbabwean that Warth and her husband were being disturbed by some people whom there are yet to apprehend as they quickly disperse whenever they hear that the police are coming.

In a telephone interview, the Officer In Charge of the area, an Inspector Sibanda confirmed that Warth is indeed being disturbed by some villagers.

“I have confirmation that there are some people who are disturbing their peace and this morning (Friday), I was told that the families were under attack and the police drove to the area but the villagers had dispersed,” said Sibanda.

For the past week Warth has been under attack from people whom she recognises as active poachers in the area and who object to her anti-poaching patrols.

Sources in the area say that the poachers who have decimated wild animals for meat and for cash are now turning violent. There are fears that the police maybe involved in an elaborate plan to intimidate Warth and her team.

“The police in Chiredzi have not once reacted to Theresa's phone calls and somehow the perpetrators at her gate get the message that she has phoned the police and then quickly disperse, so if the police had to react they would find no one at her gate, obviously someone at the police station is phoning the perpetrators of this violence and warning them. everyday day it has got worse, with a bigger crowd and more gate shaking, fears are that just now they will, because the police have not reacted, break in and harm Theresa and her loyal staff," said the source.

Conservationists have been fighting the poaching of wild animals such as elephants in the lowveld but the battle has been an uphill one as some senior Zanu PF officials are said to be involved in the poaching syndicates.

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