One of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s sons, Kudakwashe, has been implicated in the poaching of wildlife in Nyangambe, in the Save Valley Conservancy, Chiredzi, located in the south-eastern part of the country.
Legal representative of the Nyangambe Community Wildlife Project, Farai Chauke made the allegations in his defence to the fraud charges he is facing for allegedly forging title deeds to the project, which is run by Nyangambe villagers. Chauke, who is a practising lawyer in the capital Harare, also hails from the Nyangambe area.
He told the court that he is being tormented because he has been resisting poaching activities involving the Zimbabwe president’s son. Kudakwashe is allegedly in the habit of coming along with Philip Mafuta, one of the directors of Green Africa Safaris to hunt and poach wildlife outside hunting quotas.
Green Africa Safaris is understood to have used its political connections to have signed a one-year hunting lease agreement with Nyangambe Community Wildlife Project.
According to a report in the Mirror, Mafuta confirmed that he regularly goes for hunting with the president’s son in the Save Valley Conservancy, amid allegations of rampant poaching in the conservancy. Justifying his connections to the Mnangagwas, Mafuta said he is an in-law to one of Zion Christian Church Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi’s brothers.
The ZCC leader is a prominent backer of the Zimbabwe strongman and prior to the 2018 elections, Mutendi endorsed Mnangagwa ahead of opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa.
Meanwhile, Marufu who contends that their hunting activities are legal as there was a binding agreement, has warned Chauke that he will be in trouble after he implicated the president’s son in the poaching activities.
‘’Zvaaita izvozvo zvichatomunyudza. Chauke is ignorant of the law. Our activities in Nyangambe are lawful according to the Parks and Wildlife Act. We are allowed to undertake hunting activities since we have a hunting permit at Nyangambe,’’ the Mirror quoted Marufu as saying.
‘’I can confirm that I used to hunt with the president’s son since we are related, I am part of that family. So, there is nothing that can stop us from working together,’’ he said.
Chauke was remanded out of custody for continuation of the case after appearing before Chiredzi magistrate Mutsoto.
Additional Reporting: Zwnews