Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Govt takes over protected sanctuaries

Govt takes over protected sanctuaries

August 8th, 2014


The government has taken over the administration of sanctuaries, including those protected by bilateral agreements, in order to restore normalcy in the industry, the minister of Environment Climate, Water and Natural Resources Saviour Kasukuwere has said.

The move has put to an end a standoff between property owners in the affected sanctuaries and the government.

The minister said the government would take over all the properties in the prominent Save Valley sanctuary including those covered by bilateral agreements adding that the government will only pay compensation to the current owners of the properties.

He, however, said that compensation would be paid only when money is available.

“The government has taken over all sanctuaries that have been dogged by problems in the country and Save Valley is one of them,” Kasukuwere said.

“We are going to maintain the fences around the sanctuary that were vandalized and we want to develop a large tourist attraction centre from the Save Valley right straight to Gonarezhou,” said Kasukuwrere.

He said all those who got their hunting quotas and leases under controversial circumstances in Save Valley will lose them.

“Government is not going to take over all sanctuaries but those that have problems that seem to be difficulty to solve are the ones were are targeting and the Department of Parks and Wildlife has already moved into the affected sanctuaries to start work there.

“We are going to follow the laws of the land and make sure that the country derive maximum benefits from its natural resources,” said Kasukuwere.

The minister’s remarks come in the wake of President Robert Mugabe’s directive that Zanu PF bigwigs and generals should vacate the Save Valley sanctuary because most of them have benefited elsewhere in the country under the land reform programme.

The Department of National Parks and wildlife management gave leases and hunting quotas to several members of the ruling party.

Meanwhile, Tourism and Hospitality minister, Walter Mzembi has argued that taking over such properties, particularly those under bilateral ties, would be counter- productive to plans to spruce the country’s image internationally.


– CAJ News 


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