As Zimbabwe prepares to celebrate 35 years of independence, imperial forces are busy scheming on how to undermine the country’s autonomy through restrictive extraterritorial legislations and spearheading smear campaigns directed at diluting the country’s quest to self-determination.
This has been evident when the United States of America in 2001 passed the Zimbabwe Democracy and Recovery Act (ZIDERA) designed to make the Southern African country’s economy ‘scream’ in a blatant bid to foist regime change.
Last week, a New York Senator Tony Avella reportedly introduced a bill that would ban the importation, sale or transportation of Africa’s Big Five animals, namely the elephant, lion, leopard, black rhino and white rhino.
The bill is being sponsored by an organisation called the Friends of Animals (FOA).
FOA wrote on its website that: “The legislation would protect the African elephant, lion, leopard, black rhino and white rhino, all of whom are threatened by illegal poaching and sport hunting and are currently facing extinction.”
This development came right on the heels of another US ban on the importation of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Tanzania, imposed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFW), ostensibly to curb elephant poaching and protect the huge mammals from extinction. Last week, Pamela Anderson, a yester-year US actress renowned only for her nature-defying disproportional bodily alterations, wrote a letter to the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Cde Saviour Kasukuwere urging him to stop the sale of elephants to the United Emirates and China, which are approved by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
Anderson is reportedly an ambassador for the so-called People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Part of her letter to Cde Kasukuwere read: “Please prioritise the welfare of these helpless baby elephants by banning their sale and exportation and urge your Government comrades to join the 21st century by reuniting these elephants with their families. Every compassionate soul around the globe will appreciate your kind-hearted decision.”
Her compatriot and former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan had previously made a similar misplaced plea.
Unlike the New York Senator Tony Avella and his Friends of Animals, meaning the West or the Caucasian community, Africans are presumably ‘Enemies of Animals’, and according to Pamela Anderson, who is a Caucasian icon, Africans have not yet “joined the 21st century” and cannot be part of the supposedly “compassionate” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Put bluntly, the US or the Caucasian community is simply saying that Zimbabweans and Africans at large are not only cruel to their wildlife animals but have no wildlife conservation systems hence the assumption that they require unsolicited intervention from the Big Brothers in the West.
The condescending assumption is that if left to their whims and without oversight from the Friends of Animals, meaning the West or Caucasian community, Africans would wipe out their wildlife heritage in a day, causing extinction to all African animal species. For Zimbabwe, the past 35 years have not seen any animal species disappearing from its sanctuaries. In fact, some of the endangered species have phenomenally flourished to become overpopulated and are now endangering the lives of rural communities.
In fact, while the foreigners were last week busy denigrating Zimbabwe’s wildlife management system, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority was reporting that 12 pangolin poachers have been arrested over the past three months, with eight of them already serving mandatory nine-year jail terms.
Similarly, poachers who used cyanide to kill elephants last year were also timeously nabbed and are serving their jail terms.
Since this has been the trend for the past 35 years, can it not be waterproof evidence that the country’s wildlife management system is still vibrant and undeserving of the denigration from the West?
As Zimbabweans, we call upon the US to refrain from interfering with our right to freely manage our wildlife.
By the way, on the wildlife management front, we can safely say so far so good.