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Thursday 27 August 2015

Elephant tramples Vic Falls curio seller to death

A Zimbabwean man has been trampled to death by an elephant in the top resort town of Victoria Falls, the authorities announced on Tuesday. 
The 32-year-old man was a curio seller in the town. The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said in a statement that he was killed on Sunday.
The man, who was with a friend, came face-to-face with a female elephant with a calf. 
"It is reported that the elephant charged at them and the two tried to escape, [but] unfortunately one was attacked and killed," said the parks authority.
The state-run Chronicle newspaper identified the dead man as Member Ncube.
Ncube's friend and fellow curio seller, Cornwell Nkomo, told the paper that before the incident, they had taken refuge in a secluded spot to evade police officers. They were apparently not supposed to be in the area.
The two men stumbled upon the elephant while on their way back to the Big Tree – a large Baobab that is a local landmark popular with tourists.
Nkomo said he and Ncube fled in different directions after the elephant charged. Ncube’s body was later found by game rangers.
The Chronicle reported that vendors who sold their wares near the Big Tree are "usually involved in running battles with the police and [national parks] rangers as people are not allowed in the area without being accompanied by guides because of the dangers posed by wild animals". 
A Zimbabwean professional guide, Quinn Swales, was killed by a lion in Hwange National Park on Monday.

Tuesday 25 August 2015

Lion kills safari guide in Hwange

A safari guide was mauled to death by a lion in Hwange National Park in western Zimbabwe on Monday, a lodge in the park announced.
Hwange National Park was home to Cecil the Lion before the animal was killed in an illegal hunt.
The man has been named as Quinn Swales, 40, according to a statement from Camp Hwange.
Swales was leading a group of tourists on a photographic safari when the male lion "unexpectedly charged", the lodge said.
"It is with deep regret and great sadness that we are able to confirm the death of Quinn Swales, a Camp Hwange Professional Guide, who was fatally mauled by a male lion whilst out on a walking safari this morning," the statement read.
It was posted to the lodge's Facebook page.
"We can confirm that Quinn did everything he could to successfully protect his guests and ensure their safety, and that no guests were injured in the incident," it added.
Users of the page have since posted condolences.
Swales's Facebook page said he was from Trelawney in northern Zimbabwe. Tragically the last photo he posted on August 10 was of Cecil the Lion, who was killed by a US dentist on an illegal hunt in Hwange National Park in early July. Cecil's death caused global outrage, reviving questions about big-game hunting and its sustainability in Africa.
Shelley Cox of African Bush Camps wrote: "Quinn's actions in successfully protecting the lives of his guests is heroic and reminiscent of his outstanding guiding skills, experience and training...
"It is certainly a tragedy and a loss to the guiding fraternity and tourism industry."
Camp Hwange said on its official website that all of its guides were "handpicked to the highest standards".

Kazungula Bridge to Cut Traveller's Nightmares

Like most travellers particularly between Zambia and Botswana I have always found crossing the Zambezi River by pontoon at Kazungula a terrifying experience because of many accidents in which hundreds of people, including former Southern Province Minister Maimbolwa Sakubita, lost their lives when the pontoon capsised in the 1970s.
Not only that about 15 more people mostly Zambians that included women and children perished when a South African heavy-duty truck tipped over, throwing passengers on board the pontoon into the crocodile-infested and fast-flowing Zambezi River some years later.
For the commercial transporter inordinate delays at Kazungula border crossing, where vehicles ferrying cargo to and from various countries in the region and beyond, are and could be marooned for days if not weeks, translate into huge financial losses and turn-around times.
While the adventurous tourist may often find crossing by pontoon pleasurable, the not-so-brave traveller is forced to cross the river by using the Livingstone-Victoria Falls Town (Zimbabwe)-Kazungula-Kasane route or Lusaka-Chirundu-Harare route and vice-versa.
So every stakeholder was elated in 2005 when it was announced that the Zambian and Botswana governments had agreed to jointly construct a permanent bridge to link the two countries.
Following the announcement I filed a news story from Gaborone and sent it to the late Human Rights Commissioner Arnold Kapelembi (who was still the News Editor at the time I left the Times of Zambia newspaper in 1992) in his elevated capacity as Times Printpak Managing Director) based in Lusaka.
Titled 'Botswana, Zambia agree to build Kazugula bridge' the report, which I reproduce here for the benefit of readers of this column, said:
'Good news to all Kazungula pontoon users - the Botswana and Zambian governments have finally agreed to construct a permanent bridge across the Zambezi/Chobe Rivers to link the two SADC countries.'
It went on: 'Inviting tenders for the project, which is regarded as a giant leap forward and a stimulus to regional economic integration, the Zambia National Tender Board (ZNTB) says the two governments have agreed to promote 'free and unobstructed movement of both cargo and people by 'providing an appropriate bridge structure across the Zambezi River and border control facilities at Kazungula border between the two countries.
Viewed by regional watchers as probably Africa's first step on the road to hosting, for the first time, the FIFA World Cup in South Africa in 2010, the governments of Zambia and Botswana, through the Ministry of Works and Supply (Zambia) and the Ministry of Works and Transport (Botswana) have approved the development of the bridge project using Build-Operate Transfer (BOT) method.
ZNTB says BOT is one of the modern methods of financing and administering public infrastructure services through Public-Private Partnership initiatives (PPPs). According to ZNTB advertisement (which appeared) in the government-owned Botswana Daily News, this method has been successfully used in developed countries and some parts of Africa.
As a result, the Ministry of Works and Supply, for Zambia, and Works and Transport, for Botswana, intend to carry out design and construction of the following structures at Kazungula:
Road bridge, approximately 800m, and approach roads with high embankments at bridge approaches; and Border control facilities.
ZNTB, on behalf of the Ministry of Works and Supply, for Zambia, and Works and Transport (Botswana) 'now invites eligible consortiums' having proven track record in similar works involving modern techniques to submit their 'express interest'.
The consortium would normally comprise financial institutions, engineers, construction experts, and qualified/experienced concession operators. It says successful BOT bidders will be expected to carry out intensive technical and financial studies in collaboration with the ministries of the two countries, who are the executing agencies,' the article concluded.
However, the project ran into unexpected difficulties when Zimbabwe, which was reeling under economic sanctions imposed by most Western countries (following the controversial 2007 presidential election run-off that President Robert Mugabe won against MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai) but on whose territory part of the Bridge Project was to be constructed, objected unless Harare was guaranteed a stake as one of the major participating countries.
The project was further delayed by 2008 political changes that took place in the two principal cooperating countries - Botswana saw the retirement of President Festus Mogae and accession to power of Lieutenant-General Seretse Khama Ian Khama; and in Zambia - the death of President Levy Mwanawasa and his replacement by former vice president Rupiah Banda.
Although both governments remained stoutly committed to getting the project off the ground, progress was slow in that in Zambia president Banda, who had been elected to finish off Dr Mwanawasa's two years of his five-year term, lost his bid for what would have become his first five-year term to President Michael Sata whose Patriotic Front (PF) scooped the 2011 general election.
The project suffered another setback as President Sata, who initiated unprecedented infrastructural development projects across the country, died in November 2014 - and like Dr Mwanawasa - after only three years in office. But before his demise in a London hospital he had been receiving treatment, however, President Sata and Lt. Gen Khama had dispatched their respective Vice presidents Dr Guy Scott and Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe (who has since retired) to Kazungula for the ground-breaking ceremony to mark the beginning of the construction of the road and rail bridge in August, 2014.
This was after the project had gone through tender and three companies out of the 26 that had expressed interest had been short-listed in March to undertake construction works. The companies were China Major Bridge Engineering Corporation, Shimizu- Stefanuti Joint Venture and Daewoo E & R of South Korea. A South African bidding company that felt marginalised, if my recollection is correct, protested prompting some would-be sponsors to threaten pulling out.
So, the arrival on the scene of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was greeted with a great sigh of relief by government officials, transporters and travellers like myself because their move ensured that the US $60 million financing gap that the project faced would no longer be a hindrance.
I do recall that upon his return to Gaborone, former Lusaka-based civil engineer Herbert Murray, who, according to him, was among the engineers that were pivotal in the construction of the Ndola-Kitwe Dual Carriageway in the 80s, told me he was in Kasane on private business when the Botswana-Zambia Joint Steering Committee met in the tourist resort town, to tie up a few loose ends.
Zambian officials had indicated that their target date for commissioning of the project that should benefit rural communities in senior chiefs Sekute's and Mukuni's chiefdoms, was August 13, 2014.
The bridge across the Zambezi River at the point where the borders of Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia meet has been the vital missing link on Sub-Saharan Africa's North-South Trade Corridor.
The plan is for the construction of a 923-metre long and 18.5-metre wide bridge with provisions for both rail and road transport. Two one-stop border facilities-one at each end - and access roads will also be built at an estimated total cost of US$259 million, according to initial estimates.
When he visited Zambia at the end of June last year AfDB president Dr Kaberuka pledged that his financial lending institution would work closely with the Botswana and Zambian governments to accelerate construction and that his bank would also accelerate financing procedures because the project was not only important to the economies of Zambia and Botswana but to Africa as a whole.

Zimbabwe hunting quotas set

ZIMBABWE has the capacity to remove an average of 500 elephants worth more than $30 million per year through export or trophy hunting quotas allocated through the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks), it has emerged. Wildlife is a lucrative industry across the globe and Zimbabwe is one of the countries with the finest animal species for the enterprise.

Wildlife hunting came under spotlight recently after the killing of the iconic Cecil the lion by an American dentist, Walter Palmer, at Antoinette farm in the Gwayi area, sparked global outcry over conservation concerns.

The dentist-cum-hunter “illegally” killed the Oxford University’s research-monitored lion after paying about $50,000. The matter is pending before the courts.

Every year the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority conducts workshops with wildlife farmers, hunters, local authorities, tour operators and photographers from across the country to decide on the number of wild game to be put on hunting quotas.

Players in the sector met parks officials at Hwange Main Camp on Thursday where they made their presentations and applications for hunting quotas for 2016.

“Different countries have different hunting quotas for different species. In Zimbabwe we’ve a hunting quota for elephants, leopards, cheetahs and crocodiles,” a senior parks official said after the closed door meeting.

“This means we can remove or export certain numbers of species but not exceed a given level. The cap for elephants is 500, leopards 500, crocodiles 200 and cheetahs 50. We’ll conduct a separate meeting to decide quotas for lions.”

Zimbabwe has an elephant population of more than 20,000, according to the 2013 census. Regional estimates indicate elephant hunting can fetch between $50,000 to $100,000 with an average of $25,000 and above for a lion and $17,000 for a leopard.

The parks official said the consultation process with interested parties in the hunting industry was the first stage of acquiring a hunting quota. “The meeting is meant to set sport hunting quotas for the following year to registered properties upon request. As parks we need to know how many animals can be hunted or removed on an annual basis.

“Each farmer brings his/her proposal and reports on what happened in the prior year. We check if the farmer used the given quota fully,” said the official.

“Data captured from the consultative meetings is critically assessed at national level when we look at hunting trends and the animal population.”

The official said the scientific review looks into factors such as poaching, trophy quality and size and aspects of natural mortality and problem animal control in surrounding communities.
Consideration of international regulations governing sport hunting in relation to national laws is also part of the process.

“We use these meetings to share developments in the global hunting industry. After submissions a report is sent to the minister for approval. After that the farmer can start marketing his products,” said the official.

“Any hunting outside this process is illegal, it’s poaching. We’ve conducted meetings in Bulawayo, Chinhoyi, Kwekwe and we will also be going to the Lowveld on Saturday.”

Source: Zimbabwe hunting quotas set (22/08/15)

Friday 14 August 2015

Police retrieve body of Makumbi boat captain from Zambezi River

THE body of Makumbi boat captain Ephraim Daka who drowned on Saturday has been retrieved. A combined team of police and Livingstone fire brigade’s marine officers retrieved Daka’s body from the Zambezi River late Sunday afternoon. Daka, 36 slipped and fell into the water. A police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said Daka may have drowned because the Makumbi boat engines were running, causing the current to increase around where he fell. The officer said Daka had a deep cut on the forehead, which could either have been caused by the boat’s propeller blades or after he hit a rock.

Source: Police retrieve body of Makumbi boat captain from Zambezi River (11/08/15)

Thursday 13 August 2015

Kazungula Bridge construction starts

CONSTRUCTION of the multi-million dollar Kazungula Bridge across the Zambezi River has started with the laying of a temporary bridge.
The US$259.3 million bridge is being undertaken by Zambia and Botswana with financial assistance from Japan International Co-operation Agencyand the African Development Bank.
In an interview, Kazungula District Commissioner Pascalina Musokowane said the project is on course and that construction work will take four years.
“The contractor [Deawoo Engineering and Construction of South Korea] is already on site and has so far employed 300 workers from both Zambia and Botswana.
“There is another company on board supplying fuel to the contractor which has also employed local people,” she said.

Ms Musokotwane said the bridge will facilitate effective trade with Botswana and other Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries through reduced transit time for freight and passengers.
She said the project, which has been in the making for over a decade, will transform the economy of not only Kazungula district but the country, too.

She said the pontoons currently being used on the Zambezi River are inadequate to meet the increased traffic demand.

“The project will facilitate quick movement of products within the region, create jobs and increase opportunities for intra- and regional trade activities,” she said.

Ms Musokotwane said the 923 metres long railway and road-bridge will also have two `one-stop border posts’ on either side of the bridge in Zambia and Botswana.

She said the contractor is working on construction of access and approach roads to the bridge and the one-stop border facility.

“The tender for the construction of the one stop border facility to house the Immigration department and Zambia Revenue Authority offices has been awarded. The contractor has started mobilisation,” she said.

She said there is increased activity in the area, which has resulted in job creation.

She cited construction of the Kazungula district hospital, which is nearing completion, a police station, Natsave bank, a post office, administrative office for civil servants and housing units as some of the on-going infrastructure projects in the district.

Source: Kazungula Bridge construction starts (11/08/15)

Wednesday 12 August 2015

Victoria Falls to avail 1,000 housing stands

VICTORIA Falls Municipality, which faces shortage of land for expansion, plans to avail close to 1,000 housing stands. The stands will be between Mkhosana and Chinotimba suburbs along the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls main road and along Kazungula-Victoria Falls road. The place had over the years been reserved as an animal corridor with no development allowed. The local authority has a housing backlog of about 10,000.

Town Clerk Christopher Dube recently told a full council meeting that high demand for housing had forced the council to seek clearance to develop the buffer zone for housing development.

“The buffer zone is the area between the main road and Mkhosana stands, which is not supposed to be developed. It’s 300m in width and now we would have to reduce it to only 70m and develop stands on the other end,” said Dube.

He said the development had been pushed by high demand for housing in the resort town. The Town Clerk said for nearly five years the local authority had tried to get authorisation to change the land use which was only granted recently.

Source: Victoria Falls to avail 1,000 housing stands (12/08/15)

Sunday 9 August 2015

A lens into Zim's land elite

Cecil the lion’s death should make Zimbabweans look harder at who really benefits from wildlife, writes Ian Scoones.
The huge uproar generated by the shooting of Cecil the lion provides a fascinating lens into Zimbabwe’s new elite land politics and the relationship between humans and “wild” nature.
The country’s extensive game ranches and conservancies were mostly subject to land reform in the early 2000s. Many of the former owners were evicted, along with their safari operations. But this land, unlike most of the agricultural areas elsewhere in the country, was not handed over to land-hungry peasants or unemployed urbanites, but to elites.
For a time there was an argument that conservation areas were not to be part of the land reform, and that a separate wildlife-based land reform would be instituted. This was to be under the control of the Ministry of Environment, and not the Ministry of Lands, and so would guarantee the sanctity of the wildlife estate as a good source of revenue – from hunting, but more especially tourism.
But this soon got overridden by politics and many of the conservancy lands and other game farms were allocated as part of A2 (medium-to large-scale) land reform. And, as with a lot of A2 allocations – and particularly in the conservancies that many assumed to be very lucrative businesses – to well-connected elites.
Elite beneficiaries of land reform in Zimbabwe such as Honest Ndlovu have hooked up with white safari owners as they search for sources of income from their land.
The list of these beneficiaries reads like a who’s who of the Zanu-PF political-military elite. Honest Trymore Ndlovu, the owner of the land where Cecil was shot, was one such beneficiary. The new landowners in search of income from their land have hooked up with white safari operators, some of whom formerly operated in the same areas.
Conservation, and hunting, have been long associated with white privilege and colonial expansion, and a European construction of landscape as wilderness. Cecil (and the name – same as Cecil Rhodes – becomes more appropriate with this lens) is also about issues of race, colonialism and the control over land.
Wildlife is once again perpetuating a new elite land politics, excluding wider populations from the benefits. This time it’s with new (black) faces. But many of the same unsavoury connections of the past remain, with links between politicians, poachers and hunting business entrepreneurs never far from the surface.
The Cecil story also exposes some of the racial dimensions of the relationships between wildlife, land and hunting in Zimbabwe. The hunting business has a pedigree going back to the establishment of hunting blocks in various parts of the country in colonial times. Hunting was always seen as central to the colonial conquest involving taming wild Africa.
Many white farmers turned their properties over to private game hunting reserves in the 1980s and 1990s, sometimes as part of large blocks of land where the fences were removed. These were called “conservancies” – such as Gwaai in the west, as well as many others, notably the well-known Save Valley conservancy in the south-east.
These blocks and conservancies became the playgrounds of a rich, white elite, some local but many international, with Americans and Europeans being regular customers. Unlike the Campfire (Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources ) arrangements, the benefits from conservancies to surrounding populations were minimal, beyond a few concessionary “outreach” efforts.
The Cecil case raises pertinent questions about how hunting revenues can contribute to development.
From the 1980s, Zimbabwe was at the forefront of an international movement away from a preservationist position on conservation to one that emphasised conservation for development through “sustainable utilisation”. Hunting, it was argued, could be seen as a form of management, as long as careful cull quotas were adhered to.
Alongside Cecil, many lions (presumably without names) have been killed in the past years as part of regulated quotas. According to Peter Lindsay and colleagues in a 2013 PLOS One article, the annual lion quota for Zimbabwe is 101 across 38 000sq/km of hunting area on a mix of land-use types.
On average, 42.5 lions – less than half the quota – were killed each year between 2008 and 2011, presumably because of the drop in hunting visits to Zimbabwe in recent years.
Along with other southern African countries, Zimbabwe pioneered an approach linking game hunting with development, and the famous Campfire programme from the late 1980s became a flagship, with hunting concessions offered on communal lands near parks and safari areas.
The revenues raised were considerable, especially for the big five. About 90% of Campfire revenues were from sport hunting, not other forms of tourism. Funds were ploughed back into development projects with dividends going to both the local community and Rural District Councils.
Campfire did not always work as planned, and there have been many critiques. But the principle of making use of local resources for local development has been widely acknowledged in the region – if not in East Africa where a more preservationist strand of conservation persists.
What, then, should we make of the sad demise of Cecil? Knee-jerk reactions resulting in bans on hunting or trophy imports will not solve anything. Past bans elsewhere have made things worse, with a rise in poaching, and decline in conservation protection.
While the posturing rhetoric about extraditing an American dentist dominates now, Zimbabweans should look harder at who benefits from wildlife. If revenues are to be generated from hunting quotas (and I am a great supporter of this route to conservation), they should not just benefit a narrow elite, involving a new pact between white hunters and their safari companies and the new politically connected black elite.
If Cecil and his other 100 odd fellow lions are to be part of a regulated hunting quota, so creating a resource for development, then the conservancies and game ranches need to be opened up for wider use to generate broader benefit.
Only then will the wildlife assets of the nation be properly shared and the habitats preserved for Cecil and his relatives. Perhaps the outcry over Cecil can result in a proper wildlife-based land reform, so such wildlife can benefit everyone, not just elites – black or white.
* Scoones is Professorial Fellow, Institute of Development Studies at University of Sussex. This article first appeared on
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Tuesday 4 August 2015

Zambezi elephant populations in crisis

4th August 2015

While the world’s media focuses its attention on illegal hunting activities in Zimbabwe, centred on Cecil the lion,  The Zambezi Society  wishes to highlight a wildlife crisis of even greater proportion -  the plight of Zimbabwe’s elephants in the Zambezi Valley:- 
  • There has been a 75% decline in the numbers of elephants in the Zambezi Valley south of Lake Kariba (Sebungwe area) since 2001 - from 14,000 to 3,500.
  • A 40% decrease has been recorded in the middle Zambezi Valley complex (which includes Mana Pools) - from 18,000 to 11,500.

These statistics derive from a national air survey conducted by experts as part of the Africa-wide Great Elephant Census, which surveyed all major elephant populations in Africa in 2014. 

Kenyan-based Save the Elephants recently highlighted a huge escalation in the demand and price of elephant tusks in China since 2002. China’s legal ivory trade, it believes, is acting as a smokescreen for horrific escalation of illegal activities which are driving the unsustainable killing of Africa’s elephants.

A recent census in Tanzania revealed a catastrophic 60% loss of that country’s elephants in just five years (109,051 in 2009 to 43,330 in 2014).  Mozambique has lost around 50% in the same period from 20,000 to 10,300.

In Africa (and Zimbabwe is no exception), state wildlife authorities are unable to provide sufficient policing and protection of wildlife areas.  The costs of protection are high, but government funds allocated for the purpose are negligible.  This gap is exploited by corruption.  Rangers on the ground, in general, are highly experienced but poorly paid.   

Your support is critically needed to assist with this critical human resource and will strengthen their motivation, resolve and performance.

Says The Zambezi Society:  “We are deeply concerned by these latest elephant figures.  The message for Zimbabwe’s Zambezi Valley is clear – poaching is rife and we need to do something about it urgently.”   

As a follow-up to the Zimbabwe elephant census, two anti-poaching workshops for the Middle Zambezi and the Sebungwe areas took place recently.  The Zambezi Society attended both and now sits on the Task Force steering committees for  each.  The Society has committed itself to work with Zimbabwe’s Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) to act on certain of the prioritised actions resulting from these deliberations.

The Society has a Memorandum of Understanding with ZWPMA and a 30-year-old history of working with the Authority, other NGOs and the private sector to assist in combating anti-poaching in the Zambezi Valley.   Funds channelled via the Zambezi Society are fully accounted for and used in the most effective way possible. 

Please help us to strengthen our anti-poaching efforts in the face of this elephant crisis by making a contribution via The Zambezi Society’s secure online payment system  or via the newly-formed, collaborative  Zambezi Elephant Fund  of which the Zambezi Society is a partner.

For more information, contact
The Zambezi Society

ZimParks suspend hunting outside Hwange National Park


Following the illegal killing of an iconic lion, Cecil, outside the Hwange National Park on Antoinette farm in Gwayi River Conservancy on the 1st of July 2015, it has become necessary that the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority further tightens hunting regulations in all areas outside the Parks Estate.

The Authority working with other law enforcement agencies has launched a crackdown to weed out any undesirable elements. To date our law enforcement agencies are following up on all found or reported cases and they have since arrested another culprit, Headman Sibanda, on allegations of breaching hunting regulations. He is currently assisting Police with investigations.

Further to that crackdown the following measures are going to be implemented immediately;

1. Hunting of lions, leopards and elephant in areas outside of Hwange National Park has been suspended with immediate effect. All such hunts will only be conducted if confirmed and authorized in writing by the Director-General of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, and only if accompanied by parks staff whose costs will be met by the landowner.

2. Bow hunting has been suspended with immediate effect and no such hunting will be conducted unless it has been confirmed and authorized in writing by the Director-General of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.

3. Members of the hunting fraternity are being reminded that it is illegal for quotas to be transferred from one hunting area to another. Any case of quota transfer is regarded as poaching. The Authority will not hesitate to arrest, prosecute, and ban for life any persons including professional hunters, clients and land ownerswho are caught on the wrong side of the law.

All players in the hunting industry are being reminded to familiarize themselves with the relevant statutes governing the wildlife industry. Further, the Authority would like to appeal to all members of the public that they should report any suspected illegal wildlife activities to the nearest offices of Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Zimbabwe Republic Police and other Government law enforcement agencies. 

E. Chidziya
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority

Source: Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (undated) 

UPDATE: Hunting ban lifted after just a week (09/08/15) More: Excellent quotes and updates on Cecil the lion (Africa Geographic, 03/08/15 )
  Cecil and the conservation of lions (WildCRU)
  Lion Conservation & Wildlife Fund

Monday 3 August 2015

Engineers Insist Corrupt Zesco Upgrades Are Causing Water Shortages and Power Cuts

More information has surfaced regarding the actual causes of ZESCO power cuts due to what PF has claimed low water levels at Kariba Dam because there was not enough rainfall last season.
As earlier reported by the Zambianwatchdog, there was enough rainfall along the Zambezi River basin stretching from Northwestern province, Copperbelt, all the way along the Zambezi River to Kariba Dam, which is a water reservoir.
The problem was the corrupt manner in which the Chinese Company, Sino-Hydro did the upgrades at Kariba North-Bank Power station.
Highly placed sources within the PF regime have insisted that the Kariba North Bank Chinese made Turbines which were upgraded have a lower power output compared to the older British made machines which were replaced according to the dam's specifications.
There is indeed some truth now that the dam is fast running out of water because the flow of water was increased in order to cover the shortfalls in output to run the new fake Chinese turbines.
"This has angered Zambezi River Authority partners on the Zimbabwean side to remind us that the volumes of water dispensed had increased over the last year due to our turbines running more outflow than originally designed prior to this upgrade," sources have revealed.
Highly placed insiders revealed classified information to the effect that Lake Kariba Dam was created and designed to operate between levels 475.50 meters and 488.50 meters with a 0.70 meters freeboard at all times.
But due to the increased water outflows being demanded by the Chinese electricity turbines, the water levels dropped by 14 centimeters during the week from 13th July to 19th July 2015 alone to close at 4.99 meters lower than the level recorded last year on the same week yet all the spillway gates at Kariba remained closed during the week under review.
The question Zambians must be asking is why the PF resorted to acquiring such substandard equipment from the Eurobond money against what was prescribed?

Jumbo tramples Vic Falls man to death

A Victoria Falls man was on Wednesday trampled to death by an elephant at a bushy area near the Fuller Forest, in yet another incident of human – animal conflict in the resort town.
The deceased was identified as Alphas Masuku (65) of Lupinyu BH28 Matabeleland North Province police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Mandlenkosi Ndlovu confirmed the incident.
“I can confirm we received a message about an ex-Fuller Forest employee who died after being trampled by an elephant on Wednesday night,” he said.
Ndlovu said Masuku (65) was walking from Lupinyu to Fuller Forest compound to collect his property following his recent retirement. He was accompanied by Maxwell Makwinya (27).
Ndlovu said at around 6:30pm the two met three elephants going the opposite direction and one of them immediately charged at Masuku and killed him.
Makwinya escaped unharmed.
“The man’s intestines, the liver and other body parts were strewn all over and his body was covered with tree branches.” he said.
Masuku’s body was taken to the Victoria Falls Hospital mortuary after a police report.
Cases of dangerous animals killing or seriously injuring residents have become common in the resort town.
In April, last year, a 32-year-old man was trampled by elephants while walking home from a beer drink at about 8PM in Chinotimba.
In 2012, Tendekai Madzivanzira, a Victoria Falls Safari lodge head guide was killed by an elephant at a waterhole within the lodge.
During the same year, Margret Mudenda a mother of three was also trampled to death by an elephant in a bushy area between Mkhosana and Chinotimba townships.
Last month, the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority shot down an elephant that had been terrorising residents in the resort town.
The town is within the Zambezi National Park and the Victoria Falls National Park.