UPDATE ON CHIREDZI RIVER CONSERVANCY
Despite numerous reports and photos having been supplied to the authorities, the destruction of Chiredzi River Conservancy by illegal settlers continues unabated. It is now alleged that the settlers are putting together a petition to present to parliament requesting that all the elephants be shot as they are destroying their crops. This is a very strange request in view of the fact that crops can't be successfully grown in this arid, unarable area.
Settlers have now started invading Oscro Ranch which is one of the last remaining areas of Chiredzi River Conservancy with no settlers. They are moving into the area, chopping down trees and building shelters. All these people have already taken land elsewhere in the conservancy. Reports are made daily to the police but they have not responded. It is alleged that war vets are the driving force behind these invasions.
RHINO POACHING IN SOUTH AFRICA
Rhino poaching in South Africa has reached shocking proportions with 448 killed last year and it is believed, around 110 killed this year already. A big thank you to the South African authorities who are making a huge effort to strike back at the poachers.
Five men, including 2 game farmers and game rangers have been arrested in a sting operation involving an alleged rhino poaching syndicate. The men arrested were Ewart Potgieter, Riaan Vermaak, Filemon Mbatha, Nkosinathi Sithole and Mduduzi Sithole.
In a stop-and-search operation by South African police, Joseph (Big Joe) Nyalunga, one of the most wanted men in the underworld of rhino poaching was arrested after being caught with 4 rhino horns hidden behind the seat of his car.
Four people were arrested in Bedfordview when they were found in possession of rhino horn after a car crash.
Five poachers were arrested at Madikwe Game Reserve in the North West.
Two men believed to be linked to several rhino poaching incidents in Kruger National Park were arrested after being found with a weapon aand ammunition stashed under the seat of their car.
Three Mozambiquan citizens, Aselmo Baloyi, Jawaki Nkuna and Ismael Baloyi were sentenced to 25 years each after being found guilty of illegally huntin rhino in Kruger National Park.
Chumlong Lemtongthai and Marnus Steyl appeared in court after being accused of running one of South Africa's largest rhino horn smuggling syndicates wherein they used prostitutes to pose as trophy hunters.
Nine suspected poachers have been arrested in the Limpopo and North West.
A man has been arrested in Pretoria for illegal possession of rhino horns.
A driver, Sipho Mkhwanazi was sentenced to 3 years in prison or a fine of R10 000 for transporting rhino horns.
Two rhino poachers were shot dead in a follow up operation after eight rhino carcasses were discovered near Pretoriuskop and Lower Sabi.
Four government wildlife staff including a game ranger and a traffic policeman have been arrested for killing rhinos in the Kruger National park.
Three veterinarians and five other men appeared in court in connection with the wrongful possession and distribution of scheduled veterinary drugs commonly used in rhino poaching.
SHERWOOD TREE PLANTING DAY
Sherwood Golf Club has committed itself to helping the environment by going green and one of their first projects is to plant up to 2000 trees. They are working hand in hand with COSMO Trust, the Monavale community organisation which maintains one of the few remaining wetlands in the Harare area.
On Saturday, 3rd March, they held a tree planting ceremony at the golf course where trees, supplied by COSMO were sold to interested people. The trees purchased were planted on the golf course and tagged with the purchaser's name so that the buyer can monitor its growth. The money raised from selling the trees will go towards preserving the wetlands.
In addition to tree planting, Sherwood Golf Club is also using environmentally friendly fertilizers. They are actively involved with various organisations and individuals in cleaning up the environment by collecting materials for recycling. Empty tin cans (beer or soft drinks) can be dropped off at the club where they will be stored for recycling.
The official tree planting ceremony was held at 12 noon and a talk was given by the Honourable Member of Parliament, Ms J Majome.
We would like to comment Sherwood Golf Club for the stance they have taken in helping to preserve our environment and we encourage other clubs to follow their example.
Source: Johnny Rodriguez, Chairman ZCTF