Outrage over rhino donation to DRC

HARARE - Zimbabweans have expressed outrage over the government’s donation of 10 white rhinos to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and have since launched an online petition for the reversal of the decision.

According to the online petition started by the Zimbabwe Tourism Centre, Zimbabwe needs to protect the country’s resources.

“The government of Zimbabwe is exporting 10 endangered White Rhinos to war-torn DRC from Matobo which already has dwindled number of Rhinos. The Rhino population in DRC was wiped out of existence by poaching.

“…We need the government of Zimbabwe to respect the Zimbabwean people’s resources…To protect instead of plundering the wildlife resources by stopping these exports now and in the future,” the organisation said.

The rhinos, according to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks), are being sourced from Lake Chivero, Kyle Recreational Parks and Matopo National Park.

In a statement, ZimParks, said rhinos at Lake Chivero and Kyle Recreational Parks have reached near ecological carrying capacity and the translocation is part of destocking in line with approved national rhino conservation and management strategy.

According to the organisation, the donation is part of a programme to enhance regional rhino conservation.

“According to IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Rhino Specialist Group, 98 percent of the world’s white rhino population occurs in just four countries worldwide and that is South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya.

“Thus, Zimbabwe is one of the major white rhino range States hence a source country for rhino range expansion to other countries or private stakeholders.

“The translocation is being done adhering to local and international wildlife translocation protocols particularly IUCN rhino pre-translocation guidelines and the African Rhino Range States’ African Rhino Conservation Plan,” ZimParks said.

Politician and former Cabinet minister David Coltart said Zimbabweans need to challenge the government’s decision to donate the rhinos.

“If Zimbabweans remain mute and inactive over the outrageous export of one our best tourist assets — our Rhinos — to the DRC then we deserve the government we have.

“They will know they can literally rape us all and nothing will happen. Speak out #Zimbabwe or else you’ll regret,” he wrote on his Twitter account.

DRC lost its Northern white rhino population to extinction largely due to poaching, according to ZimParks, which has resulted in many people questioning the safety of the animals once in that country.

Prominent lawyer Alex Magaisa also questioned the generosity of the donation.

“Grew up being told rhinos were endangered species, in particular the white rhino.

“Did we grow our stock to the level that we can afford to be this generous? Just a donation?” he queried on Twitter.

Another Twitter user by the name Dr Nelson Ruwa had reservations for the move which was done without the consensus of the Zimbabwean people.

“Such donations which include animals owned by every Zimbabwean and the future generations should have some sort of consensus, such as Parliamentary endorsement.

“Since inauguration, there is no Cabinet and Parliament, who donated the white rhinos in the name of Zimbabwe?” he asked.

Comments (6)

I haven't seen the outrage anywhere. People who were silent when 6 innocent people where shot dead in the capital. are tryng to drum up international emotion over live rhinos donated to a friendly nation. So what?

Tsungayi Hatitye - 5 September 2018

We obviously read differing social media sources. This has been the hottest topic on all I had read. Outrage is an understatement!!

Gogo - 5 September 2018

Blatant corruption its an illegal move there is no Parliament to bless the move. And it is not a 'donation' some top-dogs at Parks have massively benefited, remember the 2000s Operation Restore Legitimacy in the DRC whereon thousands military sons of Zim lost their lives for the benefit of a few top-dogs. Millions of dollars were lost in resources and supporting an intervention that had no SADC AU or UN approval. Will not be surprised to hear ED (upon returning from China) claiming no knowledge of the transaction and promising another commission of inquiry.

Sinyo - 5 September 2018

Hapana kana nyaya apa. Because IZANU PF iri mupower and ndiyo yadecider izvozvo saka yatowe topic Nxa coltart. Vamwe kungotaurawo nekuti zvanzi government. muchapenga chete hapana kana chinoshamisa apa. Ko nyika dzinodonator zvinhu kwatiri seyi musingabvunzi kuti generosity yawo ndeyeyi after all dziri muAfrica, Dayi dzaenda kuAmerica muri kupembedza to hell.

shunguhadziurayi - 5 September 2018

They are getting rid of whites again kkkkk

Duze - 5 September 2018

Over the last 38 years our Government has never listened to the people's voice they have always done what they want as they feel its there right , a President now twenty ministers against a nation of twelve million plus and they always have the final say unbelievable its time they listened to the people of Zimbabwe after all its our heritage our children's heritage , are we going to have to visit our neighbors to see these majestic animals i sincerely hope that his Excellency Honorable E.D.MNANGAGWA will tackle this very bad decision head on for the People of Zimbabwe for our future generation's, for his Family, his Grand Children and for the much needed Tourism Industry

terence charsley - 8 September 2018

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