SPEECH BY HON F.D.C NHEMA (MP) AT THE GRADUATION CEREMONY AT MUSHANDIKE COLLEGE OF WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT ON SEPTEMBER 3 2010.
Today marks the 4th graduation ceremony of Mushandike College of Wildlife Management since its re-opening in 2004. The major reason behind re-opening of the college was and still is, to equip Parks and Wildlife Management Authority on behalf of the nation, with highly skilled graduates who are able to effectively discharge the organization's conservation mandate.Â
The Authority's mandate is to conserve flora and fauna which in itself is a big challenge hence the need to have highly skilled and trained personnel to satisfy the demands and dictates of the conservation practices and environment. The Authority's vision "To Be The World Leader In Sustainable Conservation" can only be achieved through an adequate supply of highly skilled and trained officers.
The breath and depth of the subjects offered here at Mushandike College is a reflection of the diversity of challenges faced by the Authority as it converts its needs into training programmes.Â I am informed that your curriculum covered subjects such as Wildlife Management, Community Based Natural Resources Management and Law Enforcement at various levels. This was all done to ensure that you are adequately equipped to address various challenges at the workplace.
Effective protection of wildlife goes well beyond the use of the gun and patrols in the bush but relies also on your ability to engage local communities in wildlife management issues. Issues of community participation in wildlife need no emphasis as it has been proven that their involvement in planning and decision making remarkably reduces human wildlife conflicts.
Part of your training covered Entrepreneurship Skills Development hence; you are encouraged to be entrepreneurial in your approach to work. This has become essential now that the Authority no-longer depends on the fiscus for funding, but is expected to sustain its activities. The need for you to continue looking for ways of raising revenue and cutting costs without compromising conservation is, therefore, critical. I am well aware that you are under-equipped to effectively carry out you operational duties, but this should not in any way stop you from doing your best to protect our wildlife resource which is now under great threat.
As officers your responsibilities go beyond just protecting flora and fauna but also as I said earlier engaging the generality of the Zimbabwean populace in matters of conservation. My Ministry and the Board place the hope of revolutionizing conservation practices through the skills and knowledge you acquired during training.I sincerely would like to encourage the college to be innovative and resourceful in terms of resource mobilization as well as providing modern day conservation practices to mitigate against the wanton destruction of our wildlife and environmental resources.
One day this college will be turned into a fully fletched wildlife management and conservation university or at least becoming a compass of an existing university
In conclusion, as uniformed paramilitary staff discipline is expected to be shown in all circumstances as you continue in combating issues such as poaching, veld fires and spearheading the formation of wildlife conservation community clusters.
I WISH YOU THE BEST IN YOUR CAREER. I THANK YOU.