OLIVER SAMBOKO writes
RESIDENTS of Kariba Town on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe have threatened to drag that country’s parks and wildlife authority to court over the continued destruction and vandalism of their property by monkeys.
The residents complained that despite informing the authorities about the unbecoming behaviour of monkeys that have developed a tendency of sneaking into residential areas in search for food, nothing has been done to correct the situation.
They claimed that Zimbabwe parks management had casted a deaf ear to cries of the people losing their valuables to the primates.
One of the victims, John Mbonda, who had his home ransacked and his motor vehicle windscreen shattered by a troop of baboon, said that he would need over $500 dollars to repair his destroyed vehicle.
“The monkeys entered my yard, broke the windscreen of my vehicle and stole some foodstuffs from the outside kitchen and left my children terrorized,
“I have always taken a neutral position regarding the behaviour of these baboons and have tolerated them into my yard. But now they have destroyed my vehicle and have nowhere to claim damages but I will definitely retaliate in one way or the other,” he said
And Kariba Incorporated Area Residents and Rates Payers Association(KIARRA) executive chairman Sam Mawawo has warned that the organisation would soon engage the the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights(ZLHR) with a view to sue the Zimbabwe wildlife authority.
He said residents that have lost property to straying monkeys must be compensated by the authorities since insurance companies were not willing to provide cover for such incidents.
“As an organization representing the interests of the residents of Kariba, we have taken a stance to take this issue to court so that Zim parks can compensate the people who have had their properties destroyed by the monkeys,” said Mr Mawawo
He further said the blame game between the Zimbabwe parks and the Municipality of Kariba on who was responsible for the problems the monkeys were inflicting on people must stop as both had a role to play to end the nuisance.
The Zimbabwe Parks blamed the presence of monkeys and other wild animals in residential areas to failure by the local authority to collect waste from compounds which attracts animals into suburbs to scavenge for food.