Senior Zanu PF members have been implicated in the elephant poisoning scandal which saw the deaths of nearly 100 elephants in Zimbabwe.

With the sprouting allegations, ruling Zanu PF Party has pledged an immediate and thorough investigations on the matter as well as people involved.

A group of conservationists has raised alarm after bringing concerns that government officials and politically connected individuals were behind the poaching syndicate.

Johnny Rodrigues head of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said “Cyanide is a controlled substance that cannot be bought without producing a mining license or permit.”

“I don’t believe the arrested villagers just woke up and walked into a chemical place, bought cyanide without mining licenses and other required papers; those who have mining permits should give account on the cyanide they bought,” added Rodrigues.

The deadly substance is acutely toxic to humans, animals and birds and is mostly used in mining operations. In the past five years, Zanu PF party gave a number of its top officials mining licenses under the indigenization program and it is believed to be amongst those top officials with mining licenses that has been liaising with the arrested villagers in the poaching scam.

Some analyst has said that although 240kg was recovered in the nearby villages, still tones of cyanide is still floating around the neighbouring districts and strong investigation is needed to bring culprits to book.

The growing demand of wildlife products on high prices in the Far East and Asian black market has encouraged more people to engage in poaching. Elephant tusks and teeth are used for jewellery, carvings, sculptures, piano keys, enamel plates and billiard balls.

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