May 6, 2019
President Mnangagwa is expected in Botswana today to attend the crucial
Elephant Summit taking place in the tourism town of Kasane. The Summit
commenced on the 3rd of May and will conclude tomorrow after the Heads of
State meeting.

The ground-breaking summit seeks to establish a common ground on the
management of the elephant population within the region. Environment,
Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira will meet her
counterparts from the region today to lay the ground work ahead of the Head
of States meeting set for tomorrow.

Zimbabwe, whose elephant population is second to Botswana in the world, has
joined forces with regional nations in pushing for countries with high
jumbo population to be allowed to exercise various management methods which
include trophy hunting, culling and sale of ivory to raise revenue which
can be channelled towards wildlife management.

The Convention of International Trade on Endangered Species (CITES) in
flora and fauna which convenes later this year has banned international
trade in ivory,  a position that Zimbabwe and her regional counterparts
strongly contest.

In an interview with our Harare Bureau held on the sidelines of the summit
yesterday, Zimparks director general Mr Fulton Mangwanya confirmed that a
common ground on elephant population management has been established.

“The technical committee meetings have concluded and deliberations have
been made on what we are going to present to the ministers who will meet
tomorrow (today).
“?The common position is that we believe in sustainable management of
natural resources,” said Mr Mangwanya.

“We are fighting tooth and nail with our enemies so that we are allowed to
trade in our wildlife resources. The main contention is the elephants which
we (Zimbabwe) are not allowed to benefit from.

“These are the issues that we want to defend as a region if we are to go to
the CITES meeting later this year.”

The Kasane Elephant Summit will be graced by Heads of States from countries
that make up the Kavango-Zambezi (KAZA) region. Angola, Botswana, Namibia,
Zambia and Zimbabwe make up the KAZA region which is home to over 250 000
elephants ? 75 percent of the world?s jumbo population.

Zimbabwe has been grappling with human wildlife conflict issues with
hundreds of deaths caused by elephants recorded in recent years. Vast
hectares of crops have also been destroyed by these animals leaving
communities who share boundaries with elephants facing hunger.