By Leopold Munhende
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba has come out guns blazing against lawyers and environmentalists who forced government to abruptly withdraw two Chinese companies’ licences permitting them to mine for coal in Hwange National Park.
In a Twitter rant, Charamba said national parks were not “God ordained”.
The statements come after Zimbabwe Environmental Lawyers Association (ZELA) lobbied cancellation of the special licences for protection of flora and fauna.
Government eventually succumbed to pressure, cancelling the licences and also banning all other mining activities in national parks across the country.
“This pseudo-scholarship which seeks the respectability of law wants to convince us some parts of Zimbabwe, or any nation on this earth for that matter, is God-designated as a Game Park, as an inviolate haven for wildlife. What frothing idiocy!!!! Hwange, then Wankie National Park was from as far back as 1928 designated a Game Park by HUMANS, not by GOD!!” said Charamba in comments directed at ZELA.
“And ofcourse when human needs come second-rate to needs of wildlife, humans will find ways – including destructive ones – to restore EQUILIBRIUM, muchida musingadi!!!! One way of doing that is simply to remove the competitor for land, in this case WILDLIFE!!!
“SOCIETIES do determine LAND USES at every stage in the EVOLUTION of those SOCIETIES!! Some part of land goes towards agricultural uses; host water bodies, are dedicated to urban conurbation creating concrete jungles, are assigned to mining, to game, etc, etc!!!! Time was when the whole of England teemed with bisons. Today, hunting in England has shrunk to FOXES!!! They ate their animals to extinction, turned their lands into great cities and towns, and carbon-spewing industrial contraptions.
“Know that it was the WHITEMAN’S GUN, not the AFRICAN SPEAR, which spelt doom for wildlife in the whole of Southern Africa and beyond. But all this is to wander off my angry point, which is: GAME PARKS ARE NOT GOD-ORDAINED, although the good Lord might have created all creatures, great or small!! GAME PARKS are a creation of HUMAN POLICY INTERVENTIONS, guided by availability of land for human use and exploitation.”
The Mnangagwa administration has in the recent past come under fire for granting mining rights to Chinese nationals in undesignated spaces and also an increased elephant population.
Mnangagwa himself told Europe not to interfere with how Zimbabwe dealt with its animals after they (Europeans) had allegedly eaten all their animals.