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Animal rights activists complain over political interference in their activities

by Stephen Jakes
18 Jun 2015 at 06:02hrs | Views

The Animal Rights organisation called Voice for Zimbabwe Wildlife has complained over some purported animal activists who mingle in the activities of protecting wildlife on political grounds in order to gain mileage.

"We The Voices for Zim Wildlife wish to express our concern with the direction some animal rights activists/groups have taken as far as Zimbabwe is concerned," reads the statement by the organisation.

"We fully acknowledge the failures of our government in managing the countries political and economic affairs but it seems there are supposed animal activists and groups who have diverted from their true cause as animal advocates and instead have become nothing shot of political activists, hypocritically using the baby elephant issue to present themselves as animal activists whilst advocating for political regime change.We believe our role as animal activists will never be realised as long as we do not seperate animal activism from political activism."

The organisation saidit was not in any way condoning the Zimbbwe government's failed policies and its impacts to their cause but was urging animal activists to lay aside any political agendas and vandettas they  may have and  stick to their cause and engage the government of Zimbabwe as true animal advocates who have nothing but the welfare of wildlife at heart.

"The reason why our struggle to save the captured baby elephants have realised little results is the very fact that the approach of some individuals and animal organisations have been political and as a result could only trigger a hostile response from the Zimbabwe government," said the organisation. "As we stand today, animal activism is viewed and treated the same way as opposition politics, for the government it is justifiably so especially when some of us even go to the extent of engaging western governments and courts to intervene in Zimbabwe's wildlife affairs, which is as futile as it is self defeating to our cause considering the hostility that already exists between the west and the Zimbabwe government." The organisation said such approaches only serve to defeat their campaign whilst strengthening Zimbabwe's claimed position as a victim of western conspiracies. 'What we should realise is that Zimbabwe will never listen to western voices and that the Zimbabwe government is the only power that can stop the export of baby elephants," it said.

"We believe it is time for animal activism to be restored to its rightfull place, otherwise how can we even expect the Zimbabwe government to listen to our voices when we are proving ourselves to be its enemies. That being so the only way to go if we ever wish to be entertained by our government is when we leave politics to political activists and work to gain their respect and trust as animal advocates who only seek better welfare for our wildlife irregardless of the political environment. We believe that is exactly what animal activism is about all over the world, why should it be different in Zimbabwe."

The organisation said as a matter of fact, Zimbabwe is not the only country where wildlife rights are violated, in South Africa trophy hunting is legal and currently the SA government is pushing for legalizing rhino horn trading, yet people don't hear the South african president nor his government being demonised but animal
activism in South Africa is about amicably engaging their government to come up with favourable solutions.

"China is the leading market for rhino horns and the chief culprit to all the poaching problems in Africa, their ivory curving factories are a legal component of their economy but we don't hear China being verbally abused as is Zimbabwe, as if Zimbabwe's situation is any more evil," said the organisation. "These demonisations are only making it difficult for us to operate in Zimbabwe and all because of a few individuals who are harbouring hidden agendas. Let animal activism be animal activism, those who have political statements to make we advise that you form political parties or create seperate political platforms instead of causing unnecessary yet destructive confusion."

"We as Voices for Zim Wildlife are making that quality decision to desist from politics and stand for our wildlife, to positively engage our government with programmes that are focused on wildlife policy reforms. As such we are cutting ties with all individuals and organisations who are bent on undermining us and our African initiatives."

"We want nothing to do with you who impose political conditions in return for financial support, you can go to hell with your money".

The organisation said for a long time we have failed to implement our own Zimbabwean solutions to our Zimbabwean problems because those with the resources always demanded their own terms, but not any more.

"From now on we shall fight for our wildlife heritage the way we believe is best for Zimbabwe, we are not in any way closing our doors but we welcome the support of those who will present unbiased opinions irregardless of the perpetrator, those who are in it for the love of the animals whether local or global activists /organizations as we believe that saving the captured baby   elephants/African animals is a global issue and the love of animals is without political boundaries," it said.

"For this cause we are committed! We will not be stopped! We will not be silenced and we will be victorious!"

The remarks come at a time when Zimbabwe has been engaged in exportation of young elephants to the United Arab Emmirates and China which was widely condemned by animal rights activists across the world.

Source - Byo24News