Zimbabwe: Jumbo Attacks On the Rise
Fungai Lupande, The Herald via AllAfrica
July 22, 2021
At least 10 people in Mbire have this year died from elephant attacks while
communities in Rushinga, bordering Mozambique, have incurred post-harvest
losses owing to elephants that have grazed their fields.
Rushinga Rural District Council (RDC) acting chief executive Mr Kudakwashe
Jonasi said the communities were settled in the corridor of wildlife to
Mozambique along Mazowe River .
He said the RDC and the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority
(ZimParks) were failing to contain the situation because the elephants were
nomadic and when human-wildlife conflict cases are reported to ZimParks,
they normally arrive when the animals would have moved to other places.
"We report to the National Parks when the elephants come near homesteads or
start destroying fields. Most of the time when they arrive, the elephants
would have moved away," he said.
"We are working hand-in-hand with ZimParks, but on several incidents they
arrive and find nothing on the ground to the extent that their response is
no longer urgent. There is a need for a sustainable solution to this
"Previously, we had a CAMPFIRE programme under Nyatana wildlife which was a
joint management between us and Mudzi district in Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe.
This project had a transfrontier corridor through Mozambique where migrant
wildlife gets their passage to and from neighbouring countries."
Mr Jonasi said in the Nyatana wilderness programme boundaries were drawn
along Mazowe River and there was a tripartite agreement with a hunter who
later pulled out around 2014. He said there was need for engagements with
UMP to find another concession in the hunting area.
The Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE)
was introduced by the Government in the late 1980s to empower communities
living in wildlife areas by encouraging tourism and providing funds for
The project enables hunters to pay fees to be allowed to kill one large
game animal, most often an elephant.
Part of the hunting fees are channelled to the benefit of communities.
ZimParks spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo said they understood the situation
the communities were in.
"The problems in Rushinga are also happening in Tsholotsho, Dande,
Muzarabani and Mbire. We work with RDCs who are given appropriate authority
so that they can react to problem animals.
"We are working with African Wildlife to train scouts so that they can
assist us. Mbire is the most affected district in terms of human-wildlife
conflict as 10 people have died this year from wild animals' attacks.
"We encourage communities to give us or their RDCs information. We have
CAMPFIRE programmes in almost all districts, but only a few people are
coming because of the Covid-19 pandemic."
Rushinga MP Cde Tendai Nyabani said the most affected wards were Mukosain
(ward 1), Chapinduka (ward 2), Chimandau and Machirinje (ward 3) and Mary
Mount in ward 4. He urged the RDC to come up with CAMPFIRE programmes for
communities to benefit.
"Villagers lost their grain from the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme to
elephants. ZimParks must bring to finality to this issue of human-wildlife
conflict," he said.