These dumb people are running the country!
This was “revealed” by Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri when she was asked if Zimbabwe would pull out of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in protest against it banning ivory sales.
She claimed that Zimbabwe has 96 000 tonnes of ivory which, if sold at $100 000 per kilogramme, would raise $9,6 billion.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa claims that CITES is stifling Zimbabwe’s economic recovery, saying: “This is the paradox of Africa, where we are (potentially) rich, but poor because our policies are prescribed by countries which do not have animals.”
I seem to remember Kenya quite recently publicly burning tonnes of ivory to show their disapproval of the ivory trade, so yet again Zimbabwe is swimming against the tide.
A search on the Internet reveals that although the price of illegal ivory in China reached $2 400/kg in 2014, the continuing pressure of CITES had seen this drop to $1 100 by 2016.
Besides that, our Finance minister demonstrates a staggering lack of understanding of market forces because if the sale of ivory was legalised and 96 000 tonnes were suddenly dumped onto the market, the price would drop like a stone.
I then looked into the average weight of ivory carried by elephants and learned that the average weight of a female tusk is around 15kg, while that of a male tusk is around 65kg.
Assuming the elephant population is 50% male and 50% female, the average weight of a tusk would be 15+65÷2=40kg.
Thus to produce 96 000 tonnes of ivory would require 96 000 000 (1 000 kg to a tonne) ÷ 40 = 2,4m÷2 (2 tusks per elephant) = 1,2m elephants.
And these people are running the country!