ELEPHANTS and other wild animals have wreaked havoc in Beitbridge, threatening to wipe out a potential bumper harvest this year, villagers and officials have complained.
Beitbridge East MP Albert Nguluvhe pleaded with government to intervene.
“To tell you the truth, it is going to affect the good harvests we were expecting this season. I think it is high time a permanent solution is found,” Nguluvhe said yesterday.
“Why not push them back to the national game parks like Gonarazhou? These elephants don’t add any value to the people in my constituency. No hunters or tourists come to watch them. Instead they have brought destruction and fear to the people.”
Officials who sit on the district development committee yesterday asked the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority to intervene and drive out the jumbos.
“There are several areas where the presence of these animals has been reported. They will completely destroy crops,” an official said.
Beitbridge is under Communal Area Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (Campfire).
The Campfire programme started in the 1990s with villagers advised to live in harmony with nature while benefitting from proceeds of safari hunting.
Of late, hunters have been restricted by COVID-19 regulations that have banned international travel, resulting in no business transactions.
After several years of perennial droughts, Beitbridge was this year expecting a bumper harvest due to good rains.
Elsewhere, villagers from Lesanth area are also complaining about lions that are killing their livestock.
Beitbridge sits in between three wildlife conservancies of Mapungubwe Transfontier Park in the west, Gonarezhou Transfontier Park in the east and the vast Bubye Valley Conservancy in the north.
Some animals also wander from the Nuanetsi Ranch seized from Zapu by businessman Billy Rautenbach.