CLAIM: A picture shows Chinese miners have killed zebra in Hwange
VERDICT: False. The image used has previously been used in South Africa after a truck accident
A picture of zebra carcasses has been widely shared by Zimbabwean users on social media, with suggestions that the image shows the impact of Chinese mining in a game reserve.
The picture was shared with the #SaveHwangeNationalPark hashtag, which has been used to raise awareness about reports that Chinese mining companies have been allowed to explore for coal inside the Hwange National Park.
Is the picture of the zebra related to any mining at Hwange? No. The image has in fact previously been shared in South Africa. It was used in reports on a truck that overturned in Kimberly, South Africa. Following the accident, pictures circulated showing zebra carcasses.
Is there mining in Hwange National Park?
On September 1, 2020, conservation group, the Bhejane Trust, posted on Facebook that it had “recently found some Chinese in Hwange Park – we managed to ascertain they were drilling core samples for coal”.
According to the group, two companies have been granted exploration rights in two areas of the park. There is however no mining inside the park yet.
Nick Mangwana, Secretary for Information, said on September 7: “Nobody has a coal mining permit to mine in Hwange National Park. The current event is that under a Special Grant, ZMDC and its partner have a Special Grant 5756 which allowed them to drill 4 scout drill holes. Both Zimparks (Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife and Wildlife Authority) and EMA (Environmental Management Authority) permission for this (sic). This is not mining.”
Reports of Chinese miners being granted authority to explore for coal in the park are credible, even though there is no actual mining yet inside the parks. However, the image circulating purporting to show that zebra have been killed by miners in the park is false.