Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Govt to take over Save Valley Conservancies

Govt to take over Save Valley Conservancies

The government will take over a number of Save Valley conservancies next month and pay compensation to owners protected by Bilateral Agreements when possible.


Minister Kasukuwere, centre, is joined by villagers in launching the fire-fighting campaign in Gutu last week. Pic by Regerai TukutukuMinister Kasukuwere, centre, is joined by villagers in launching the fire-fighting campaign in Gutu last week. Pic by Regerai Tukutuku

Having failed to solve property disputes in the area, the Minister of Environment Saviour Kasukuwere said government would take over now and pay compensation “as and when money is available”. This includes all the properties in the sanctuary covered by Bilateral Agreements.

He was speaking on the side-lines of a fire-fighting awareness campaign in Gutu last week .


“We are going to maintain the fences around the sanctuary that were destroyed and we want to develop a large tourist attraction from the Save Valley all the way to Gonarezhou,” he said.

All those who had been given hunting quotas and leases under controversial circumstances would lose them, he said. “Government is not going to take over all sanctuaries, but those that have problems are the ones were are targeting. The Department of Parks and Wildlife will move into Save Valley conservancy and start work next month,” added Kasukuwere.

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

The minister’s remarks come in the wake of President Robert Mugabe’s recent directive that Zanu (PF) bigwigs and generals should vacate the sanctuary. But they have vowed to stay put saying they would only move out if a land audit was conducted.

Damage the image

The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management gave leases and hunting quotas to several Zanu (PF) bigwigs, attracting a local and international outcry. They included senator Shuvai Mahofa, the late tertiary education minister Stan Mudenge, retired brigadier general Gibson Mashinagidze, and former Masvingo governor Titus Maluleke. Leading the chorus to spare Save Valley from being grabbed was then Minister of Tourism Walter Mzembi.

He said Zimbabwe was in the midst of trying to spruce up its image abroad and therefore the taking over of the sanctuary would further damage the image of the country.

“Hunting in the Save valley will continue but those who obtained hunting quotas and leases under unclear circumstances will lose them because we want to follow proper procedures,” said Kasukuwere.

Giant national park

Meanwhile, the minister has announced plans for a giant national park on the Tokwe Mukosi basin in order to promote tourism.

He said plans had already been made for National Parks to be capacitated to undertake the programme. Elephant, buffalo and rhino will be trans-located to populate the park. But this means more people will have to be moved to make space for the park – adding to government’s woes as it is already battling to compensate the hundreds of families moved off their land to make way for the Tokwe Mukosi dam. The minister said water in the giant dam was being drained in order for engineers to finish constructing the wall. “As I speak now that work is almost complete. Engineers will finish constructing the dam wall before the start of the next rainy season,” he said.


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