Government, through the office of the Prosecutor General, has stepped up efforts to combat wildlife crime and is finalising the establishment of a center of excellence for the prosecution of wildlife offenses.

With wildlife crime having gained global recognition as a serious offense, Prosecutor General, Kumbirai Hodzi said there is need to ensure that wildlife crimes are considered high-risk offenses and his office is finalising the establishment of wildlife and environment directorate.

In an interview on the sidelines of the Wildlife Specialist Law Enforcement Workshop in Victoria Falls, Public Prosecutor, Kelvin Mufute, said building capacity among government arms involved in the fight against wildlife crime remains critical in tackling the offense.

“As a country, we have had a surge in cases of wildlife crime where organised criminals are decimating our wildlife population. This workshop, therefore, enables the capacitation of stakeholders to ensure successful prosecution of such matters,” he said.

Participants at the workshop were drawn from the Financial Intelligence Unit, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks), Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), Judicial Service Commission (Magistracy) and National Prosecuting Authority.