GOVERNMENT last week failed in its bid to deport Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF) chairman Johnny Rodrigues who has been active in exposing the involvement of high-ra
nking government officials in the illegal slaughter of wildlife.
“I have been trying to put a stop to the indiscriminate slaughter of our wildlife and this has involved exposure of top government officials who are poaching wildlife for monetary gain,” Rodrigues said.
Rodrigues this week said suspected Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) officers started looking for him when he was at the recent Tiger fishing tournament in Kariba.
Rodrigues said he received a phone call on Monday from the Department of Immigration asking him to come to their offices with his passport.
He then sought the services of a lawyer, Jonathan Samkange of Byron Venturas, to accompany him to the immigration offices.
Samkange instead phoned an officer identified only as Mugugu to say his client would not be complying with the order to visit the immigration offices.
Mugugu claimed Rodrigues had dual citizenship and he intended to stamp “prohibited immigrant” in his passport and deport him.
Rodrigues says Samkange then phoned former Minister of Lands and Agriculture, Kumbirai Kangai, who came to Samkange’s offices.
Kangai and Samkange told Rodrigues, he says, to carry on doing what he was doing because they did not condone what some Zanu PF officials were doing and said they needed someone like him to expose them.
Rodrigues says Samkange wrote a letter to the immigration department and sent copies to the President’s Office, Vice-President Joseph Msika, Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri, Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede and the Attorney-General.
Rodrigues’ deportation would be unlawful because he holds a Zimbabwean passport and has lived in Zimbabwe since 1954.