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Animals paying the price for Zim’s bankruptcy?


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From: “Karin Stenger” <ksm@mweb.co.za&gt;
Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 10:53:48 +0200
To: Karin Stenger<ksm@mweb.co.za&gt;
Subject: Paying the price?

editorials 30.12.2016 05:00 am

Are the animals paying the price for Zim’s bankruptcy?

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AFP/File / Daniel Hayduk<br />More than 30,000 African elephants are killed by poachers every year to supply an illegal trade controlled by criminal gangs that feeds demand in the Far East

AFP/File / Daniel Hayduk
More than 30,000 African elephants are killed by poachers every year to supply an illegal trade controlled by criminal gangs that feeds demand in the Far East

Reports suggest Mugabe’s wife Grace has been using part of Africa’s precious and fast diminishing wildlife resources to pay off debts.

In an economy as direly stretched as that of our basket case northern neighbours, which has already all but descended into a barter system, even the vaguest suggestion that Zimbabwe is trading wild animals to defray debts must be viewed with the utmost trepidation.

Reports suggesting geriatric President Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace has been using part of Africa’s precious and fast diminishing wildlife resources to pay off indebtedness are worrying to say the least.

These reports, hastily denied by the Zimbabwean embassy in China, indicate that Zimbabwe exported a variety of wild animals to settle a Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) debt, and list at least 35 elephant calves, eight lions, a dozen hyenas and a giraffe being exported to China to settle the outstanding costs of boots and uniforms bought for the Congolese military force.

The elephant calves – estimates of their value range between $40 000 and $60 000 – the report adds, were flown out of the country in a Boeing 747 to the Chimelong Safari Park in Guangzhou.

Zimbabwe has a less-than-stellar conservation history and if even a glimmer of the truth of this is ever revealed as having some substance, all of Africa should be concerned.

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