Mnangagwa bans live elephant trade

HARARE - President Emmerson Mnangagwa, pictured below, has banned trade in live elephants following a global outcry in the wake of the sale of 34 baby elephants to China late last year.

Mnangagwa also banned trade in other endangered wild animals such as the rhinoceros, lions and pangolins which are on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) red list.

The previous political regime of former president, Robert Mugabe, was notorious for brushing aside such outcries.

But Mnangagwa, who is hoping to charm the world by rolling back his predecessor’s policies, appears to have hearkened to counsel and has since committed government to conservation efforts.

In justifying its elephant trade, government has previously argued that Zimbabwe has an unsustainably high elephant population which, at 86 000, exceeds the ecological carrying capacity of 54 000 elephants.

Conservationists, however, argue that exporting the elephants — which prefer the temperate Savanna climate to that of the Far East which fluctuates between the hot and cold extremes —was not the solution.

Information at hand indicates that following the December brouhaha, Mnangagwa gave audience to representatives of two concerned international conservation organisations, Tikki Hywood Foundation and the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF), who had visited the country intending to raise their concerns with him.

Mnangagwa assured them of his commitment to conserving the country’s wildlife resources.

“This is a very significant moment in Zimbabwe’s history and we understand that we have a lot of work to do in ensuring the protection of our natural resources. 

“Global support and greater understanding of the new Zimbabwe will go a long way towards communicating the change that we are committed to seeing here in our country,” Mnangagwa said in a statement to the two emissaries after the meeting held last week.

The meeting was also reportedly attended by officials from the ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, ministry of Justice, National Prosecution Authority, the Zimbabwe Republic Police’s Minerals and Border Control unit and the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority (Zimparks).

“Conservation and tourism go hand in hand and my government is committed to ensuring the safety of visitors and to working with partners to increase our conservation efforts to protect our natural world,” Mnangagwa’s statement further said.

“We undertake this commitment not just for the people of Zimbabwe but to allow people around the world to experience one of the most beautiful countries in Africa.

“I am also proud to recognise the women rangers of the Akashinga project, who my daughter Tariro joined late last year. Women will play a vital role in the rebuilding of Zimbabwe.

“Through this programme, women are being empowered to make a positive contribution to their communities and to protect our precious wildlife. We salute their bravery and commitment.”

Mnangagwa paid tribute to the Akashinga conservation project which was the first to rope in women in the fight against poaching. Chief advisor to the president, Chris Mutsvangwa, said Mnangagwa pledged his commitment to the conservation of the country’s environment.

“In light of the recent export of elephants from Zimbabwe, the government is reviewing conservation decisions of the previous dispensation and formulating a policy to move forward,” said Mutsvangwa.

ZimParks pulic relations manager, Tinashe Farawo, also confirmed the meetings.

“The president welcomed representatives of the Tikki Hywood Foundation to learn about its work with partners in government and conservation organisations that has led to Zimbabwe being recognised as an African leader in Pangolin conservation.

“Pangolin is the most highly trafficked mammal in the world, and, through effective strategy and partnership across these organisations, Zimbabwe now has the highest conviction rate for pangolin related crimes within Africa and is a leading voice in the global movement for its protection,” said Farawo

“As an authority, we are happy with the support we are getting from the highest office in the land.

“We are going to ensure that we sustainability utilise our wildlife for the benefit of Zimbabweans in line with the president’s vision,” he added.

Comments (30)

Mr. President Emmerson Mnangagwa: Thank you kindly for banning the trade of live elephants. Mariella Venier from Vancouver, Canada

Mariella Venier - 19 January 2018

Save elephants now

siegrid - 19 January 2018

In name of all animals My gratitude and thanks !

Lizette Maas - 19 January 2018

Save the elephants now, do not kill their reservates

Petra Falkner - 19 January 2018

Dear Mr President Congratulations for taking this massive step towards the conservation of one of Africa's iconic species. Our elephants belong in Africa.

LYNNE SAUNDERS - 19 January 2018

Dear President Mnangagwa, Thank you very much for your decision to ban trade in live elephants. This is the best decision for Zimbabwe and your wildlife and for all involved. I am so grateful to you for this. Warm regards, Joan Huddleston

Joan Huddleston - 19 January 2018

Thank you President Mnangagwa for speaking for the voiceless elephant calves in Zimbabwe! Thank you for promoting the ethical treatment of wildlife, and for deterring wildlife trafficking in Africa! Thank you for promoting women in Zimbabwe as well. The world needs more people like you.

Maureen Kinlan - 19 January 2018

Thank you President Mnangagwa for speaking for the voiceless elephant calves in Zimbabwe! Thank you for promoting the ethical treatment of wildlife, and for deterring wildlife trafficking in Africa! Thank you for promoting women in Zimbabwe as well. The world needs more people like you.

Maureen Kinlan - 19 January 2018

Thank you to our president E. Mnangagwa. This is a massive significant step for the good of our beloved country in everyway. As a conservationist and animal activist I thank you on behalf of beautiful elephant families. Thank you too for promoting women and congratulations to your brave daughter, Tariro. You have certainly earned my support for life. Warmest regards. Milú Grilo from Zimbabwe currently in UK

Milú Grilo - 20 January 2018

Thank you to our president E. Mnangagwa. This is a massive significant step for the good of our beloved country in everyway. As a conservationist and animal activist I thank you on behalf of beautiful elephant families. Thank you too for promoting women and congratulations to your brave daughter, Tariro. You have certainly earned my support for life. Warmest regards. Milú Grilo from Zimbabwe currently in UK

Milú Grilo - 20 January 2018

Thank you to our president E. Mnangagwa. This is a massive significant step for the good of our beloved country in everyway. As a conservationist and animal activist I thank you on behalf of beautiful elephant families. Thank you too for promoting women and congratulations to your brave daughter, Tariro. You have certainly earned my support for life. Warmest regards. Milú Grilo from Zimbabwe currently in UK

Milú Grilo - 20 January 2018

Thank you to our president E. Mnangagwa. This is a massive significant step for the good of our beloved country in everyway. As a conservationist and animal activist I thank you on behalf of beautiful elephant families. Thank you too for promoting women and congratulations to your brave daughter, Tariro. You have certainly earned my support for life. Warmest regards. Milú Grilo from Zimbabwe currently in UK

Milú Grilo - 20 January 2018

Thank you to our president E. Mnangagwa. This is a massive significant step for the good of our beloved country in everyway. As a conservationist and animal activist I thank you on behalf of beautiful elephant families. Thank you too for promoting women and congratulations to your brave daughter, Tariro. You have certainly earned my support for life. Warmest regards. Milú Grilo from Zimbabwe currently in UK

Milú Grilo - 20 January 2018

Thank you for banning trade of these animals I hope other leaders follow your great example

john zolis - 20 January 2018

Thank you for banning trade of these animals I hope other leaders follow your great example

john zolis - 20 January 2018

It's so wonderful to hear that Zimbabwe finally has a President with a heart for wildlife! Thank you Mr President Emmerson Mnangagwa! Can I be hopeful you will follow Botswana's lead, and ban trophy hunting in the near future? Warm regards Ingrid

Ingrid S - 20 January 2018

Thank you Mr. President Emmerson Mnangagwa. To know that these beautiful animals are now saved is awesome.

V Gouws - 20 January 2018

A visionary move and I hope a sign of a new era in Zimbabwe where conservation of wildlife is actively pursued. Animals should not be treated like a mere commodity to be traded for profit. They are part of Zimbabwe's world famous natural heritage and should be revered and respected.

Mark Crozier - 20 January 2018

Dear President Emmerson Mnangagwa...you are a true human being for protecting these beautiful animals! Thank you!

Stephen Welsh - 20 January 2018

lasst die elefanten am leben, wenn ihr mit dem töten so weitermacht habt ihr bald keine mehr.

petra danis - 20 January 2018

Thank you Mr President. Your action is a fine example of statesmanship

Geoffrey Moffat - 21 January 2018

Africa Geographic is saying this story is untrue. Please can you find out what the truth is and let the public know. Thank you

Ann Warner - 21 January 2018

So which is the Fake News? Daily News or Africa Geographic? Africa Geographic came out with what they called an "update" on January 21, 2018 and said the Daily News article is not true (FAKE NEWS) and that the Zimbabwe government did not make any announcement with any policy to not sell elephants.

Cliff Tulpa - 21 January 2018

So which is the Fake News? Daily News or Africa Geographic? Africa Geographic came out with what they called an "update" on January 21, 2018 and said the Daily News article is not true (FAKE NEWS) and that the Zimbabwe government did not make any announcement with any policy to not sell elephants.

Cliff Tulpa - 21 January 2018

Wishing this were confirmed, but it is not! I am sad that you shared fake news, getting all of our hopes up. I won't be able to trust the Daily News any longer. Very disappointing!

Shana Kelly - 22 January 2018

Wishing this were confirmed, but it is not! I won't be able to trust the Daily News any longer. Very disappointing!

Shana Kelly - 22 January 2018

Dear President, THANK YOU SO MUCH for taking this very important step to protect your elephants. It would be very welcome around the world if you would also ban all the sale of confiscated elephant ivory. That would be a major step in the pro-conservation of elephants in your country. Thanks again for this ban! Many regards from Canada!

Ericka Ceballos - 22 January 2018

A great move, Mr. President. The live export of baby elephants has brought international condemnation and shame to Zimbabwe. Now Zimbabwe deserves my tourist dollars. I would never have considered making a visit while Mugabe was in power. He was no doubt personally pocketing the money from the sale of live elephants. Now, I want to help demonstrate that wildlife is a huge tourism draw. Ban trophy hunting too, as that does nothing for conservation and only brings more condemnation on the Country. A major step forward.

Harley Robert - 23 January 2018

What has become of the Grace Mugabe case where she was intercepted with a contraband of ivory at R G international airport? Is she immune from prosecution?

Jonso - 23 January 2018

Thank you so much for banning trade of elephants. Thank you for preserving and protecting them! God bless you President Mnangagwa!

BJ Holden - 1 February 2018

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