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Over $1m rhino horns disappear at Zimbabwe park offices, boss suspended

Over $1m rhino horns disappear at Zimbabwe park offices, boss suspended

Zimbabwe

228 kilograms of rhinoceros horns worth $60,000 per kg on the black market in Asia have disappeared at the offices of Zimbabwe’s parks authority causing the suspension of the head of the national body.

The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority (ZPWA) announced in a statement on Tuesday the suspension of its Director General, Edson Chidziya, for 60 days without giving any further explanation.

The decision was taken to allow an audit as a result of anomalies in the rhino horn stock, which makes up 228 kilograms.

“The decision was taken to allow an audit as a result of anomalies in the rhino horn stock, which makes up 228 kilograms,” the authority added.

Zimbabwe is facing an economic crisis which has affected the payment of salaries forcing the government to announce a $100 pay advance for civil servants for transport as they wait for June salaries to be paid in two weeks time.

International trade in rhino horns have been banned since 1977 yet its trade in some countries in Africa including South Africa is legal.

The ban was enforced to protect the animals which are facing extinction as a result of activities of poachers.

Rhino horn is in high demand in Asia for use in traditional remedies which in turn encourages poaching. A record 1,305 of the animals were illegally killed in Africa last year.

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