UNWTO Summit Exposes Wildlife Plunder in Zimbabwe

Wildlife campaigners have questioned the government’s movement of hundreds of wild animals from the ‘secure’ Save Valley Conservancy in Masvingo to Victoria Falls where poachers awaited them.
The move coincided with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly summit running from 24 to 30 August.
“We find it strange that Zimparks are always claiming that Zimbabwe has an abundance of animals, so if this is true, why is it necessary to move all these animals to Victoria Falls where the delegates of the UNWTO will be able to see them?” said Johnny Rodrigues, chairperson of the Zimbabwe Conservation Taskforce.
Addressing tour operators this week, outgoing environment minister Francis Nhema admitted animals in the Zambezi National Park near Victoria Falls had been decimated. He attributed the problem to “poaching and migration” but would not confirm the movements were being done to impress the UNWTO delegates.

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