By Alois Vinga
TOURISM Minister, Prisca Mupfumira has pledged to end illegal wildlife trade and trafficking in attempts to protect the country’s natural resources.
Addressing delegates at the Zim-London diaspora engagement meeting in the United Kingdom recently, Mupfumira said the scourge of transnational wildlife crimes could not be fought by one country alone.
“With increased sophistication and technological advancement of the 21st century which has made communication and mobility much 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.
Mupfumira said government will continue strengthening the already robust legal framework governing the conservation and management of the country’s wildlife resources as well as putting more deterrent penalties and instruments that enhance success in prosecution of criminal syndicates through competent judiciary systems.
The Minister said the current Tourism Diasporas Engagement strategy being pursued by government was born out of the realisation of the need to continue re-engaging Zimbabwe Diasporas especially in the United Kingdom and Ireland due to their historical investment potential.
“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 programs such as the one we are celebrating today,” Mupfumira said.
During her visit, Mupfumira also met UK Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Life Opportunities – Therese Coffey.