Home » General » Wildlife – Latest Imperialist Cover for Zim Attack [opinion]

Latest attempts by the United States to scuttle trade of wildlife from Zimbabwe should not be read in isolation from the wider machinations by the West to sanction any economic activities that could breathe life to the country’s sanctions-saddled economy.

The United States Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) recently imposed a unilateral ban on imports of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe on frivolous grounds that there was a poor wildlife management system in the Southern African country.

Before this debilitating measure could even crystalise, the US had moved to front an indiscriminate propaganda drive to malign the planned sale of live wild animals, including elephant calves, from Zimbabwe to other countries.

The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management had indicated that it was considering wildlife requests from South Africa, France, China, United Arab Emirates and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

This torched a well-engineered Western media campaign aimed at derailing the planned wildlife trade by projecting it as inhumane and about to contribute to the alleged extermination of the elephant herd in Zimbabwe.

As per the neo-imperial norm, the campaign was cunningly given a local overtone by enlisting the services of a shadowy local group calling itself the Zimbabwe Conservation Taskforce.

This group was given the depraved task of timeously releasing injurious and unsubstantiated doses of information vilifying Zimbabwe’s wildlife management systems. It was also charged with commandeering one million signatures for a global petition to block the intended wildlife sales.

To further hoodwink the Hollywood-addicted global audiences, the US also conscripted its former James Bond actor, Pierce Brosnan, to spearhead a social media campaign to degrade the planned sale of wildlife in Zimbabwe.

Nevertheless, it could never be masked that this multi-pronged campaign was premised on false claims that the elephant population in Zimbabwe was facing extinction.

Statistics from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management have antithetically revealed that the country’s elephant population had actually grown to levels disproportional to the country’s carrying capacity.

Against a combined capacity of around 20 000 elephants, Zimbabwe’s national parks and conservancies were holding over 80 000 elephants.

This not only goes to prove the effectiveness of the country’s wildlife management systems and anti-poaching measures but also unassailably justified plans by Government to commercially offload excess animals to interested countries.

Contrary to reports of possible extinction, elephants in Zimbabwe were actually flourishing beyond capacity, resulting in the destruction of some plant species in their sanctuaries.

It is reported that the overstocked elephants are decimating the mukwa, teak, baobab and other plant species in their environs. Clearly, it is these plant species that could face extinction and not the ever-growing elephant population.

The elephants are also overgrazing grass in their habitats, living the soil loose and exposed to the vagaries of weather, causing gradual desertification of the national parks and conservancies. Such destruction of plant species disturbs biological diversity and negatively affects the ecosystem.

Faced with such an environmental time bomb and the inevitable need to generate income for its economy, it was not only logical but imperative for the Zimbabwean Government to affirmatively consider requests of countries wanting to buy some of its wild animals. This was made more necessary by the fact that the country was struggling to maintain a soaring stock of Rhino horns and elephant tusks, which it could not dispose because of a western-lobbied trade ban imposed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

The rhino horns are reportedly decaying while the ivory is being degraded by weevils.

Surely, which country would just sit and watch its natural wealth wasting away like this at the behest of foreigners?

What is baffling and also infuriating is that animals that are truly facing extinction like the polar bears in Canada are left to be traded freely, simply because they are domiciled in a country that is part of the overarching Western cabal.

It is estimated that only 25 000 polar bears are left in the world, 16 000 of them in Canada, yet Canada is allowed to freely trade the bears for their fur without the USFWS placing any unilateral bans as with the case with the Zimbabwean elephants.

Even the Australians are given unfettered rights to sale their overpopulated kangaroos to other countries such as China and Russia, who buy the hopping animals for their meat, hides and other parts used for virility purposes.

It would be foolhardy to pretend that our wildlife resources are there only for esoteric, aesthetic and statistic purposes as it cannot be contested that these natural resources form a greater part of our wealth as a country.

This wealth must contribute to national development by generating money that can be used to fund the country’s economic plans and also maintaining the wildlife management infrastructure.

No wealth should be left to rot like what is happening to our ivory nor should it give us headaches like our planned sale of live wild animals.

Moreso, the management and trade of this God-given wealth should not be dictated to by foreigners as is being attempted by the Americans.

Why would Westerners continue to treat us like brainless beings that require massive hand-holding in managing our resources or governing our countries?

We cannot continue to subject ourselves to the despicable and condescending neo-colonial belief that Africans are lesser beings created for the leisure and indulgence of Westerners. No!

This is not the first time the Western nations have tried to block Zimbabwe from selling its natural resources on the international market. The same tactics were vainly employed when the country discovered huge deposits of rough diamonds in Chiadzwa.

A local sycophantic group named Centre for Research and Development was created to churn out false information about unsubstantiated human rights abuses at the diamond fields, all for the futile purpose of trying to lobby for the blacklisting of the gems on the global market.

The overall aim here is to block any source of funding to the Zimbabwean economy as these could bust the illegal sanctions imposed on the country by the West.

Zimbabwe should therefore not brook such invasive and condescending machinations. It should find ways to circumvent the restrictive trade measures by entering trade agreements with friendly nations that require its natural resources.

Source : The Herald

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