Shoot to kill: Muchinguri

ENVIRONMENT, Water and Climate minister Oppah Muchinguri has urged wildlife rangers to adopt a “shoot-to-kill policy” against poachers, whom she equated to robbers.

By Nokuthaba Dlamini

Speaking at a graduation ceremony of 106 Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority rangers, who recently underwent a three-month intensive anti-poaching programme in Hwange last week, Muchinguri said the country’s wildlife heritage faced extinction, hence, the need to adopt tough measures against poachers.

“Due to magnitude of wildlife diversity, poachers are attracted to rob our nation of its wildlife heritage. These poachers have become so daring to the extent using sophisticated methods such as poisoning our elephants in search of raw ivory in great demand on the black market,”she said.

“Let me reiterate that wildlife crime is a serious issue and as such, our rangers will not hesitate to shoot and kill those found on the wrong side of the law.

“Imposition of tougher legal penalties on the perpetrators, constant educational programmes to the public on the effects of poaching and the health of ecosystem are a necessity if the war on poachers is to be won.”

The minister said illegal settlers were also encroaching into parks estates, causing more human-wildlife conflicts.

“Habitat loss for wildlife is amongst the major drive of human-wildlife conflict. Save Valley is one such example, were over 16 000 families have settled in wildlife corridors and wildlife areas. In turn, our wildlife has responded by destroying crops, passing on diseases such as foot and mouth killing livestock and people.

“In 2017, 40 people were killed and 30 injured due to conflicts with wildlife. In response, 95 wildlife species were killed in order to save human life,” she said, adding cases of human-wildlife conflicts were most prevalent in Manicaland and Masvingo provinces.


  1. Thank you Minister thats the way to go these days with the breed of poachers on the prowl

  2. Zvakaoma chokwadi ndookutonga uku
    Kuuraya munhu kuti kuchengetedzwe mhuka. Kana zvadai ndookuti hatikoshi birchnough kusvika chibuwe chii chatakatadza kuti tiparadzirwe minda zvipfuyo nemhuka dzawo idzi.maamusina nzou neshumba mu devuli ranch kwemakore asi pazvakaiswamo yaahondo.apa zvozi ere inyaya ye kuvhima zvisi pamutemo

  3. Dai mhuka idzi dzichiunza mari yekunze iyi chokwadi taidai tisingashaiwi mari munyika. Nyika ino yaisiraramiswa ne fodya zvicherwa uye mbesa dzimwe .hapana patakambonzwa kuti zvipembere zvinotipaarimunyika
    Kana tisingaoni kuti akuna nyika inobudirira nekuda kwenzou dzakawanda kurewa kuti tiri varanda vekusaziva

  4. Anyone opposing this has never sen the effects of poaching firsthand. Wakamboona what cyanide does to an entire ecosystem when poachers put it in the water? All they want is just ivory but it kills hundreds of animals indiscriminately. And not to mention these poachers will open fire on rangers if spotted.

  5. Tonderayi Chanakira

    If you are caught poaching in Botswana the soldiers of that country they shoot to kill for sure. Most of the poachers are coming from Zambia and our government must effectively deal with them

  6. Firstly was pouching itself so rife as it is now as compared to the the early 80s and 90s? I strongly believe some of these activities are mostly fueled by the current economic hardships where people engage in indiscriminate activities out of poverty and desperation. Therefore in as much as those resources are supposed to be protected, Gvt must also come up with programmes like CAMPFIRE as was before.

    Given the relative novelty of (Payment For Environmental Services) PES, what lessons can be learnt and applied from earlier initiatives? In this paper, I describe the evolution over the first 12 years (1989–2001) of Zimbabwe’s Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE), a community-based natural resource management programme in which Rural District Councils, on behalf of communities on communal land, are granted the authority to market access to wildlife in their district to safari operators.

    These in turn sell hunting and photographic safaris to mostly foreign sport hunters and eco-tourists. The District Councils pay the communities a dividend according to an agreed formula. In practice, there have been some underpayments and frequent delays.
    During 1989–2001, CAMPFIRE generated over US$20 million of transfers to the participating communities, 89% of which came from sport hunting. The scale of benefits varied greatly across districts, wards and households. Twelve of the 37 districts with authority to market wildlife produced 97% of all CAMPFIRE revenues, reflecting the variability in wildlife resources and local institutional arrangements. The programme has been widely emulated in southern and eastern Africa.

    Therefore I am saying, since the minister has been appointed to a position of high authority in her portfolio, she must stop threatening people and community by using the word “Shoot to Kill” because this may also haunt her in the future.
    As a leader and educated minister, she is supposed to go back to the drawing board and see where it all went wrong and re-implement those programmes and the community will start to benefit especially the less privileged.

    I don`t dispute the fact that it`s wrong to poach or kill using chemicals, that is totally wrong and unacceptable. EMA needs to playing it pivotal role as well in that.

    As we speak the community at times don`t see the danger and hence even help to protect the poachers.

    But if they see benefits they then also help to protect their environment. Benefits must be visible than just mere talk.

    Therefore minister i say be a bit mature and think fast to be of help rather than a threat to people.

    At times leaders think they are more important than the people they lead because they are on positions of authority which is wrong.Being there is because of people.

    If you only had those animals without people would you be a leader of Rhino & elephants without people?

    1. Thanks very much for not only a well informed analysis but very critical prescription. In fact we still have wildlife in abundance today because of the brilliant CAMPFIRE programme innovation in earlier years. These days we unfortunately and unacceptably have Rural District Councils councils concentrating on residential stands provisions as if they are urban local authorities. Saka huRural hwavo huri papi? They would make more economically meaningful money through CAMPFIRE programmes than unnecessary silly residential stands on prime agricultural and natural forestry land.

  7. This is good Shooooooooot to KIll we cant be legigng behind look at all national parks Kruger etc there is shoot to kill Policy even Gonarezhou we cant be lenient ood going Minister,

  8. Mhofu in the wild

    The shoot to kill policy is not Muchinguri’s creation. It was pronounced in the 1980s by then President Mugabe and is enshrined in the Protection of Wildlife (Indemnity) Act of 1989. As for CAMPFIRE, it is a very noble, and, lucrative initiative but it has rarely benefited the ordinary villager in CAMPFIRE areas. Elite capture is rampant in all CAMPFIRE areas. Go to Mahenye in Chipinge and Mbire in the mid Zambezi Valley and check.

  9. hiswona phela phela.swiharhi a swihlayisiwe

  10. In Harmony with Nature

    Most poachers are either ex-parks , current parks , ex-soilders , current soldiers , ex-police , current police , ex-prison and current prisons, Injiva , zambians , but the ring leaders or financiers are government and political figures from Zanu.

  11. poaching like any other crime should be procedurally prosecuted and proper punishments metted after due process. that is the rule of law.

  12. If she is co concerned about preserving wildlife that she recommends “Shoot to Kill” why doesn’t she comment about Grace Mugabe who was caught smuggling ivory to the Far East?? Without a ready market for ivory poaching would die a natural death.

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