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Scout Receiving Training

Speak Out For Animals (SOFA) has trained at least 18 scouts from Dramount ranch located in the Bubian Conservancy in Matebeland South of Zimbabwe which sparns an impressive estimated fifteen thousand hectors.

The two-day training workshop took place from the 23rd of August to the 24th of August 2021 with the objective of capacitating scouts who Mann the ranch.

Speak Out For Animals Legal Manager Mr. Ignitious Maeresa stated how these trainings are essential for all stakeholders who work within the conservation sector but made special emphasis for rangers and scouts working on the ground to have these training "Rangers and Scouts are the first line of defense and interact with the law daily henceforth why they need these training. If they are informed it makes their job easy and aid them to fight wildlife crime with the requisite tools”

Advocate Chinoda joins ZCA

SPEAK OUT FOR ANIMAL (SOFA) founder, Advocate Everlasting Vimbai Chinoda has joined the Zambesia Conservation Alliance (ZCA) to assist their outreach partners as a legal liaison for information gathering across the region.

ZCA is a wildlife conservation lobby group that aims to drive awareness through creative and impactful strategies that directly connect to conservation. The group operates in 7 countries that form the Zambesia region which are Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

ZCA is currently sourcing funds for a program that will see Advocate Chinoda undertaking training for youth scouts and anti-poaching teams. The program will focus on the Zambesia region and Advocate Chinoda will be working with other Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) legal experts.


Justice Mawadze commends SOFA

SPEAK OUT FOR ANIMALS (SOFA) successfully trained senior officials from the Masvingo High Court.

The workshop was officially opened by a Senior Judge at the High Court in Masvingo, Justice Garainesu Mawadze, who urged magistrates to curb the of wildlife crimes because the law can also be used to protect wildlife.

Justice Mawadze commended the initiative by SOFA and highlighted that the workshop’s purpose is to emphasize on the adjudication of wildlife crimes and help to strengthen this critical link in the protection of wildlife.

“The knowledge obtained by magistrates from such a training programme will ensure that criminals were less likely to escape prosecution and evade punishment”, said Justice Mawadze. Justice Mawadze urged magistrates to send a strong message by applying the full weight of the law against wildlife criminals. “The workshop must allow the country to see a turnaround in this area of access to justice”, said Justice Mawadze.

“The main purpose of training magistrates is to ensure that they know the value of wildlife and their role in the conservation of wildlife. The other purpose is to highlight and discuss legislative gaps that exist in the adjudicating of wildlife crimes so that we can lobby with the law makers to amend the laws. We need to have good and efficient laws that protect wildlife.” Advocate Everlasting Vimbai Chinoda.


World Pangolin Day 2021

SPEAK OUT FOR ANIMALS (SOFA) joined the rest of the world in commemorating the 10th annual World Pangolin Day that is celebrated on the third Saturday of the month of February.

The commemoration is aimed at raising awareness towards the conservation of the unique and most trafficked mammal in the world.The pangolin is the only scaly mammal in existence and can be found in parts of Africa and Asia.

Poaching has drastically reduced the pangolin population across the globe. SOFA is continuously monitoring pangolin poaching cases throughout Zimbabwe, 66 cases have been monitored since 2019, 36 cases led to convictions, 9 cases were issued with warrants of arrests and four are pending trial.


SOFA completes 8 cases

WILDLIFE conservation lobby group Speak Out For Animals (SOFA) has successfully completed 8 cases that were being monitored between February 2021 and April 2021 in Harare and Mashonaland West regions.

Ivory poaching remains a thorn in Zimbabwe’s conservation efforts as 24 cases were monitored by SOFA, which was the highest number in first quarter of the year.Poachers took advantage of the Covid-19 imposed national lockdown earlier this year to commit crimes and abscond after getting bail due to the state’s efforts to decongest prison facilities but the long arm of the law knows no boundaries.

There were 8 pangolin cases in the same quarter which was the second highest number of monitored cases by SOFA. The most trafficked mammal is nearing its extinction due to the high demand of its scales which are used for medicinal purposes in Asia.

The pangolin has been at the mercy of illegal wildlife crime syndicates and Zimbabwe has been a source country as witnessed by the number of people who have been arrested for unlawful possession of pangolins or pangolin scales.

Other monitored cases include 1 serval cat, 2 python,1 leopard and lion skin, 1 zebra and wildebeest as well as 1 crocodile skin. SOFA continues to protect animals one conviction at a time with the end goal of preservation and conservation of all the land’s precious animals through the legal system.


THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT

SPEAK OUT FOR ANIMALS (SOFA) university representatives have expressed excitement for the organization’s initiative to engage universities on wildlife law through informative and fun related activities.

SOFA has maintained its presence at both the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) and Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) and efforts are underway to engage other universities in Zimbabwe.

UZ Chapter President Takudzwa Nzou, said the organisation has carried out a number of activities to educate and inform students on wildlife law.“SOFA has capacitated students with informative and interactive opportunities through seminars, games and trips that have broadened their perspectives in understanding Wildlife law, such as animal rights and our most recent trips to Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary and Save Valley Conservancy was very educational,” he said.Nzou said students have managed to network and share ideas with key stakeholders in the conservation sector.

“We have had the opportunity to interact with diplomats and key stakeholders within the conservation sector as a result of being part of SOFA UZ chapter and we are appreciative of such opportunities because we get to share ideas with industry experts,” said Nzou. He added that SOFA has provided employment opportunities for students. “SOFA has also provided employment opportunities for three students so far with one being assisted to acquire an animal law scholarship in the United States of America,” he said.

GZU chapter President Melody Rupiya said the organisation had capacitated students with requisite information on wildlife law, which will be amplified by the wildlife law module at university level. “Sofa Chapters have opened a plethora of opportunities for students which have afforded us the opportunity to work closely with other animal enthusiasts for effective plans and strategies for protecting wildlife. SOFA’s infusion of Wildlife law as a module course will allow undergraduate students to be equipped with the legal knowledge of Wildlife law which they would have obtained at Masters level,” she said.


80 Judicial Officers to be trained

SPEAK OUT FOR ANIMALS (SOFA) has so far managed to train20 magistrates in the first quarter of 2021 and intends to train a total of 80 Judicial officers from the Judicial Service Commission by the end of the year.

The first batch of magistrates were trained in March at a workshop that was held in Masvingo.

Some of the issues that were highlighted at the three-day workshop included the lucrative aspect of wildlife crime which is the fourth most lucrative form of organized crime in the world estimated to be worth US$23 billion a year making it a threat to wildlife particularly through poaching.

The training programs aim to alert magistrates on the role they can play to curb crimes against wildlife. Magistrates were also conscientized on the value of wildlife in order for them to have an all-round appreciation of all aspects of wildlife such as the commercial, scientific, aesthetic, cultural, social and ecological importance.


Wild life law module at GZU

Speak Out for Animals (SOFA) has successfully spearheaded the introduction of Wild Life Law as a module at Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) Faculty of Law. The module is set to conscientize law students on wildlife law with the aim to promote wildlife conservation through legal systems.

We are proud to announce that through the guidance of Director Everlasting Vimbai Chinoda, multiple stakeholders and team we have managed to have the first wildlife law module in place at GZU.
The objective of this initiative by Speak Out For Animals is to capacitate the future generation of leaders with knowledge on wildlife law so that they preserve wildlife using the legal system. We urge students to take on this opportunity and ensure that they understand Wildlife law and make an impact in the preservation of Flora and Fauna of Zimbabwe and the world at large.


We intend to cascade this program and empower all interested candidates in the module.


Wildlife law training for students

In April, SOFA successfully conducted a two-day training workshop for law students. Most participants were from University of Zimbabwe, Great Zimbabwe University and Chinhoyi University of Technology.


Insightful Webinars

Speak Out For Animals (SOFA) has made use of webinars to interact with relevant stakeholders in the wildlife conservation sector during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In one of the most recent webinars, SOFA Director Everlasting Chinoda gave insight on issues regarding regional wildlife law and the need to bring awareness on the value of wildlife to policy makers.
Conservationists need to start crafting ideas with the community’s perspective in mind. We should realize if the community understand the value of their wildlife. We should understand the community’s perspective. We should also understand the community’s needs.


“You cannot sustainably solve a single African issue with a first world solution”.


New kids on the block

Meet Dumi.
I am thrilled to join the Speak Out for Animals team despite this being a different sector I am excited to face new challenges. I have always been passionate about conserving our wildlife and I hope that I will definitely make meaningful contributions to the SOFA team.

In one of the most recent webinars, SOFA Director Everlasting Chinoda gave insight on issues regarding regional wildlife law and the need to bring awareness on the value of wildlife to policy makers.
Conservationists need to start crafting ideas with the community’s perspective in mind. We should realize if the community understand the value of their wildlife. We should understand the community’s perspective. We should also understand the community’s needs.


“You cannot sustainably solve a single African issue with a first world solution”.



‘Speak Out For Animals’ busy in Mat’land


ANIMAL protection lobby organisation, Speak Out For Animals has said it is carrying out court interventions for wildlife cases in Matabeleland Matabeleland North and South, a programme meant to combat wildlife crime in the two provinces. In an interview, Speak Out For Animals legal officer Mr Innocent Rupapa said the programme the organisation was carrying out in Matabeleland North and South was in line with the aim of raising awareness about the laws that protect wildlife to various stakeholders.

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