Newsday (Zimbabwe)
Simba Sithole,
April 8, 2019

Villagers in Mbire district have expressed concern over extensive crop
damage by elephants in the drought-ravaged area where they are losing crops
to marauding wild animals.

Ward 16 councillor Louis Nyamadzawo said they receive more than five
reports of human-wildlife conflict per day.

“The ward is experiencing a serious elephant menace in their fields and
daily we are receiving more than five cases. It is unfortunate that
elephants are not easily scared off the fields using our traditional ways
of beating drums or lighting huge fires. Community members end up running
for their lives, leaving elephants to destroy crops, particularly sorghum,”
Nyamadzawo said.

Agriculture deputy minister, who is also Mbire legislator, Douglas Karoro
called on the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks)
together with Mbire Rural District Council to respond to people?s calls.

“We are appealing to Zimparks to respond to the people’s distress calls.
There are elephants all over Mbire and people cannot go about their daily
business under such frightening environment,” Karoro said.

“Children can no longer go to school because of lions and elephants. We are
also appealing to Mbire Rural District Council to strengthen its problem
animal control programme. We do not want a situation where they will start
to mete jungle justice on these animals.”

This came as a 52-year-old Mbire woman from Kanyemba under Chief Chitsungo
was last week trampled to death by a jumbo after using a footpath with her
colleagues, Fungai Chiwapura (age unknown) and Rashiwe Nyamuparadza (65),
who fled after coming across a herd of elephants.

One of the elephants charged at Sarah Hungwa (52) of Kasamuriwo village and
trampled her to death.

Mashonaland Central police spokesperson Inspector Milton Mundembe confirmed
the incident and warned people in Mbire to desist from using footpaths that
cut through forests.

“I can confirm that a female adult was trampled by an elephant last week in
Mbire after coming across a herd of elephants in the jungle while using a
footpath on her way home from Angwa business centre. We are warning people
in Kanyemba to desist from using footpaths in the jungle since they risk
coming across wild animals which can kill them if disturbed. They must use
wide common roads to save their lives,” Mundembe said.