In Zimbabwe, individuals with mining rights can purchase cyanide from reputable chemical stores. Villagers in Tsholotsho are accused of having handed cyanide to individuals who poisoned more than 100 elephants over a period of two months.

Mr. Saviour Kasukuwere, the Zimbabwe Minister of Environment, Water and Climate visited the area recently and assured the villagers that the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Kembo Mohadi, had agreed not to prosecute if they handed over the cyanide still in their possession.

The newly elected MDC-T MP for Tsholotsho, Ms. Roselene Nkomo, has questioned Kasukuwere’s prospective pardon as premature and insists that the suspects must first come clean and reveal all the facts. She insists that one or more persons are responsible for the poaching, and that the government should get to the bottom of the issue before pardoning anybody.

The allegations are that the Zimbabwe government is covering up the poaching because of the possible involvement of politicians and influential businessmen.