MDC wants cyanide poaching probe

The MDC believes that senior politicians and park officials bought the cyanide.

An African elephant. Picture: animal.nationalgeographic.com.

HARARE - Zimbabwean opposition party the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) demanded an independent commission be set up to probe the recent killing of more than 100 elephants in Hwange National Park.

More than 16 villagers have been arrested in connection with poaching in the area.

Poachers used cyanide to kill the elephants.

MDC Shadow Environment Minister Thamsanqa Mahlangu says senior politicians and other government officials must have been involved in the illegal procurement of the deadly chemical.

State prosecutors have dragged two Bulawayo companies to court for allegedly illegally supplying cyanide to miners.

In one of the cases, the cyanide wasn't labelled and was repackaged in very small quantities.

Prosecutors say that doesn't necessarily mean suppliers were involved in the elephant killings, but it does suggest the company had some kind of hidden agenda.

Mahlangu believes that senior politicians and park officials bought the cyanide.

Zimbabwe's Environment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere dismissed the claims.