Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) has seized two elephant tusks from Zibagwe Rural District Council (ZRDC) in Kwekwe which the local authority had reportedly been keeping in its boardroom for 15 years.
The recovery of the ivory weighing 20,6kg (145cm) and 19,7kg (144cm), followed a tip-off by the public.
After recovering the ivory, officers from the Criminal Investigation Department’s Minerals Unit were asked to confiscate the ivory for safekeeping pending investigations. Parks spokesperson Caroline Washaya-Moyo said:
“The fact that they have had the ivory in their boardroom for 15 years doesn’t make it a right and ZPWMA was not aware that ZRDC was keeping ivory illegally.”
“According to the Wildlife Act, Statutory Instrument 362, 1990 section 77 (1), it says: any person who acquires or comes into possession of unregistered ivory shall, within 15 days of such acquisition or possession . . . produce the ivory to a specified officer for registration and produce evidence for lawful acquisition. The Act further states that the specified officer shall cause the ivory to be marked with a distinctive mark as provided for by the seventh schedule and issue a certificate of ownership after which it shall be recorded in a register.”
However, Washaya-Moyo said in the case of ZRDC, the ivory had no trace of acquisition and until they provided evidence as to how the ivory was acquired, the Parks Authority would keep holding to the ivory.