Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) and Gwanda Rural District Council have dispatched a team to control elephants that have invaded farms in Gwanda and threatening the success of Command Agriculture.
The elephants have reportedly destroyed crops at Johnsley, Essexvale, and Crystal Springs and A2 resettlement area of Riyatha. The jumbos are said to be crossing from neighbouring Botswana into the country.
Farmers have since enlisted the help of Gwanda Rural District Council and ZimParks.
Gwanda RDC chief executive officer Mr Ronnie Sibanda yesterday confirmed that elephants were causing havoc in farms and they were helping farmers to control them.
“I have heard about the invasion by elephants in farms. We have assigned our team so that it works with ZimParks on problem animal control. As I speak the team is on the ground controlling the elephants. So far three elephants have been killed in Johnsley as part of the reaction team’s control of the jumbos,” said Mr Sibanda.
A villager from Riyatha, Ms Matilda Masiyane of Plot 18, said the jumbos invaded the area last week.
“The elephants have destroyed crops at Enyoni and Tshabezi close to Riyatha. We reported to ZimParks and they came and killed one of them. These elephants are said to be crossing from Botswana in huge numbers and scatter around the farms,” said Ms Masiyane.
She said they feared that the jumbos would destroy the crop which was planted under Command Agriculture in the farms. Elephants are a perennial problem in Gwanda and last year several jumbos invaded Crystal Springs area and destroyed equipment at irrigation schemes worth over $20 000.