By Daniel Chigundu
ENVIRONMENT Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira has called on for collaboration in fighting wildlife crimes in the world.
Illegal wildlife trade has been on an increase in Africa with such animals as lions, elephants, rhinos, pangolins and painted dogs becoming victims.
Most of these animals and their products reportedly have a ready market in China and other Asian countries.
Illegal wildlife trade resulted in a huge number of elephants being poised with cyanide a few years ago and as if that was not enough, Zimbabwe lost one of its world acclaimed lion that was named Cecil.
Speaking during a session of Heads of State at the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in London, Minister Mupfumira said with the coming of technology which is being used in poaching activities, countries need each more than before.
“The scourge of trans-national wildlife crimes is something no country can handle alone. With increased sophistication and technological advancement of the 21st century which has made communication and mobility much more-faster and efficient, we need each other more than ever before as diverse global partners to fight the common enemy plundering our wildlife heritage.
“The government of Zimbabwe pledges a zero tolerance on illegal wildlife trade and trafficking,” she said.
Minister Mupfumira added that “As Zimbabwe, will continue strengthening our already robust legal framework governing the conservation and management of our wildlife resources, putting more deterrent penalties and instruments that enhance our success in the prosecution of criminal syndicates through our competent judiciary systems,” she said.
Meanwhile, Minister Mupfumira also took the opportunity to meet with the diaspora community to thank them for their effort towards Zimbabwe.
“I was here in March and promised that I will be back, here I am.
“As you may know, the Tourism Diasporas Engagement is a realisation of the need to continue re-engaging with the Zimbabwe Diasporas especially as we look to attract more investment opportunities from the United Kingdom, Ireland.
The United Kingdom, ladies and gentlemen, remains historically Zimbabwe’s key market.
“It is, therefore, my intention to promote Zimbabwe as a tourism haven for both Diasporas and non-Diasporas initiatives. I wish to encourage you to come up with market specific programmes such as the one we are celebrating today,” she said.
The Minister added that the country is indebted by the support of the Diaspora Mission especially in projecting the objective reality and potentials that lies on Zimbabwe as a tourism destination.
“To the Diasporas and all our Guests, volunteers, we say thank you for your dedication and it is our conviction that this event will provide for great insights into opportunities that await within destination Zimbabwe,” she said.