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“Yes, I can confirm those transfers are ongoing and it is nothing new as we normally carry out these staff rotations periodically,” he said.
“There is nothing unusual about these transfers as Zimparks undertakes routine transfers as a way of strengthening the operational effec-tiveness of the organisation across the country.
Sources at parks who spoke to The Herald said the transfers were triggered by the arrest of the five rangers for poaching and wide spread suspicion that more were involved in the illegal act.
Apart from the five rangers, a number of villagers living at the edge of the vast national park have been arrested and appeared in court on accusations of poisoning the elephants with cyanide.
Mr Gotosa said they usually transferred staff at the end of year.
“Whenever an organisation gets bad apples, it is better to deal with the problem head on rather than seeking transfers as this cannot be our best way to solving the issues of poaching,” he said.
Zimparks is currently car-rying out poaching awareness programmes for locals in Hwange.
“We are not really training these locals for recruitment purposes as there are no vacant posts as yet, but what we are doing are awareness programmes amongst the locals so that they can see and appreciate the value of wildlife individually,” he said.
“We have seen that community engagement projects with the locals are a step ahead in getting people to typically understand the importance of the environment and wildlife that surround them.
“We may not be talking of recruitment now, but we will surely consider trained locals whenever we get vacancy openings.”