MP Urges Gvt To Slaughter Excess Elephants To Feed Starving Zimbabweans
Anna Chibamu, New Zimbabwe
November 19, 2021
Makoni Central legislator David Tekeshe left members of parliament and
Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda in stitches Wednesday after
he suggested that government must slaughter thousands of elephants which
are in excess to provide free meat for starving citizens.
Tekeshe stood to pose a supplementary question on the issue regarding
in-excess elephants in the country’s national parks due to a ban on the
sale of ivory.
“We are facing a challenge of human-wildlife population. The number of
elephants in Zimbabwe is highly unsustainable. They have exceeded the
desired number. Is it not possible for the government to slaughter the
elephants that are in excess for relish,” Tekeshe amid laughter from other
He also queried Zimbabwe’s export policy regarding the export of live
elephants to other countries.
Zimbabwe currently has about 100 000 elephants against the carrying
capacity of 45 000, which has resulted in spiking cases of deadly
human-wildlife conflicts involving the giant mammals.
Leader of government business in Parliament Ziyambi Ziyambi admitted the
parks had more than over 65 000 elephants countrywide.
“It is very correct that the carrying capacity for our elephants has been
exceeded. We really want to downscale and have a reasonable amount of our
herd of elephants. As a country, we are constrained because of the
international conventions that we are party to but we really believe that
this is very unfair,” Ziyambi said.
“We should be allowed as a country to sell off the excess stock of our
elephants; it is one of the areas that our minister of Tourism is seized
with and we are pushing as a block, particularly as African countries”
“Those that impose this ban do not have elephants in their countries and we
believe that it should not be a blanket statement that applies to everyone
else in the world. We must look at it region by region and look at it
specifically looking at us here in Southern Africa, you find out that
almost 50% of the elephants in the world are in Southern Africa outside
Kenya – that is Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, and Zambia. We believe it is
something that we must look at and continue pushing so that we are allowed
that free trade,” he said.
Another MP, James Munetsi from Makoni North constituency suggested Zimbabwe
must pull out of organisations like CITIES which restrict trade in live
wildlife of their body parts.