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MDC-T Condemns Zimbabwe Plans to Sell More Elephants to China

FILE - Elephants graze inside Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park, Aug. 1, 2015.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change formation led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has condemned reports that the government will soon export more elephants to China in an effort to deal with their over-sized population.

Spokesman Obert Gutu said the government should not destroy Zimbabwe’s heritage amid claims that some top officials are lining their pockets with elephant proceeds.

Gutu was reacting to reports quoting Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, currently in China, as saying her government was going to increase the number of elephants exported to China as it was doing a good job in looking after those that are already were in that country.

Environment ministry permanent secretary Prince Mupazvirihwo declined to comment saying he only heard about this issue in the press.

But Gutu told Studio 7 that Zimbabwe has enough land to accommodate its wildlife rather than sell it to China.

“Wildlife experts say Zimbabwe has enough land for its large numbers of wild animals.”

Gutu condemned what he called rampant poaching by top, well-connected people who he said were working in conjunction with some Chinese nationals.

Zimbabwe has lost hundreds of elephants in the past months due to poaching activities.

Last year alone the country lost over 60 elephants from cyanide poisoning in the Hwange National Park.

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Last year, China gave Zimbabwe resources in the form of vehicles, tents and flash lights to help fight poachers in Hwange National Park and Mana Pools.