High Court of Zimbabwe commences hearings on wild elephants capture and trade case.

The High Court of Zimbabwe on 11 June 2020 commenced hearings on a public interest case concerning Zimbabwe’s capture and trade in wild elephants. The litigation was initiated by Advocates4Earth in 2019 (then known as the People and Earth Solidarity Law Network). The main respondent in the case (Case No. HC 4289/19) is the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) and the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry. Advocates4Earth made the application in 2019 seeking to stop unclear capture and exports of wild animals from Zimbabwe and also seeking access to information on such dealings in the public interest.

Our attorneys Freeman Chingoma (left) and Lenin Chisaira (right) at the High Court of Zimbabwe yesterday (Thursday 11 June 2020) [Pic: Advocates4Earth]

On Thursday, High Court Judge Justice Benjamin Chikowero heard lengthy preliminary arguments from attorneys for both sides. The submissions focused on technical issues regarding the application. The court posed questions to both sides’ attorneys. Judgement was reserved judgement on the technical issues before deciding on whether or not to proceed to substantive issues. We now await further communication from the court. We will update accordingly as this is a matter pending before a superior court.

Advocates4Earth was represented by its legal team led by Mr Freeman Chingoma from Jiti Law Chambers assisted by Mr Lenin Chisaira from Advocates4Earth. ZimParks was represented by Mr Harrison Nkomo from Mhishi Nkomo Legal Practitioners.

The court case is part of Advocates4Earth’s ongoing campaign against wildlife capture and trade in Zimbabwe and Africa. The campaign included a parliamentary petition and submissions to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Environment on Tourism held on 2nd March 2020. The campaign also involved lobbying and participation by two Advocates4Earth attorneys during the 18th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES CoP 18 ) held from 17-28 August 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Law References

Section 73 (b)(i) and (ii) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, 2013:

‘Every person has the right to have the environment protected for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent …. ecological degradation (and) promote conservation’

Section 62 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, 2013:

‘Every Zimbabwean citizen or permanent resident, including juristic persons and the Zimbabwean media, has the right of access to any information held by the State or by any institution or agency of government at every level, in so far as the information is required in the interests of public accountability.’

[For more information, please contact us on advocates4earth.trust@gmail.com; Twitter: @Advocates4Earth]

9 thoughts on “High Court of Zimbabwe commences hearings on wild elephants capture and trade case.”

  1. I hope and pray that justice will prevail in this case for these poor zimbabwe baby elephants brutally ripped from their mothers incarcerated and held before being hauled off to victoria falls in the dead of night under presidential guard to a fate worse than any baby could imagine.
    The world has been devastated by this total lack of regard in the name of profit…
    We urge all parties to see the criminal injustice that has occurred and hear the world outcry…

  2. There are other ways to increase the revenue of the country or paying debts to other countries than the sale of wild animals. More steps can be taken to boost the tourism in the country and increase foreign revenue. It is extremely cruel to separate wild animals from their herds especially the babies after all the scientific evidence indicate that they do feel pain and sadness from the separation. If this country is against the slavery due because of its colonial history , please do not do the same to the precious wild animals in this country.

  3. We pray that justice for all those poor creatures captured and exported will prevail and that stern measures be put in place to prevent this appalling practice.Please also endeavour to get the last 32 baby elephants shipped to China under disgusting and illegal process.All wild life are living beings not commodities.

  4. I pray that justice for all wild life will prevail.Bring back those 32 young elephants sent to China!!

  5. It is the most cruel act taking these creatures away from their families and herds – they were born free to roam as nature intended. They were created to live in certain countries for a reason and keep our world eco system going. You do this awful thing to innocent creatures who face no threat to anyone. This is for greed – these beautiful, intelligent animals have no voice, they are poached for greed, hunted for fun and captured for gain. This has to stop now 😡

  6. This cruel and inhumane freedom to capture and abuse by torturing elephants must come to an end. You know in the bible the saying “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” says it all!!! Why is this allowed. Elephants are one of the most beautiful animals wonderful creatures that is why people love Africa. The wildlife there is the assets you have, so why let people abuse and kill them. They are gentle loving creatures and loved by people all over the world. You should be proud and protect them at all cost. There are many ways your people can make money that would help people in general. Grow vegetation. Make gully’s so water travels to those areas. Then making cloths and sell world wide. Help teach children in school settings. So many ways without using elephants and cruelty. Start tours for tourist. The list goes on. Why do you allow old cruel ways to continue. Let them have their space in peace. Be kind and they will be kind back. They only defend their children when in danger or food is taken away or their homes are taken. Live and let live in peace as God intended it to be. There is no reason for cruelty and murder of these precious elephants and other wildlife.

    1. This cruelty must stop. No one should own wildlife then be cruel by torture. This is extremely unfair and wrong. Teach your people there are other ways that are fair. Wildlife is for everyone not for one person to decide what happens to them. Africa wildlife is the most famous part of your country. Illegal capture or trophy hunting only benefits certain selfish greedy people. This needs to stop. Be proud to have elephants and treat them with respect like God intended. Don’t let evil control and destroy the beauty of Africa.

  7. I wish you all the luck in the world to help these majestic animals. I hope that justice for the elephants will result in a good outcome for all.

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