Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Parks takes over conservancies

Parks takes over conservancies

Minister Kasukuwere

Minister Kasukuwere

George Maponga in MASVINGO
The Parks and Wildlife Management Authority is taking over control of some properties in the Save Valley Conservancy (SVC) that had been occupied by senior Zanu-PF officials in Masvingo Province.

Government says the takeover excludes estates which fall under Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements. The authority’s move follows the recent expulsion of Zanu-PF bigwigs from the SVC.

The officials had initially been issued with 25-year leases under the wildlife-based land reform but these were later cancelled after it emerged the beneficiaries were double dipping as they had already been allocated farming land elsewhere.

Government then resolved to integrate the SVC into Parks and Wildlife Management Authority estates.

There were questions over the fate of five properties at SVC that are under BIPPA. In an interview recently, Environment, Water and Climate Minister Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, said Government would respect BIPPA agreements on properties in the SVC.

“Parks (and Wildlife Management Authority) has moved into Save Valley. But let me make it clear that properties covered under BIPPAs will not be taken over,” said Minister Kasukuwere.

“We respect those BIPPAs. I cannot reveal how many properties are covered under the BIPPAs there. The position is that they are not going to be affected by the integration of some properties into Parks Estates.’’ `


Sources told The Herald that properties exempted were Matendere, Makore, Chishakwe, Sango and Masapasi conservancies.

Matendere is operated by the Italians while Chishakwe and Masapasi are under the control of South African nationals.

Dutch nationals are in charge of Makore conservancy while Germans run Sango.

While Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesperson Ms Caroline Washaya Moyo could not divulge properties they have so far moved into, sources at SVC said the Parks authority had moved into several.

Among conservancies taken over so far are Mapare, Savuli, Humani and Senuko.

It could not be established whether the authority had moved into the remaining conservancies – Hammond, Zambezi Hunters (Arda), Musaizi, Gunundwi and Nyangambe.

Former chairman of the SVC, Mr Clive Stockil, told The Herald at Senuko Conservancy that conservancy operators welcomed the Parks’ entry into the wildlife-rich conservancy.

“I think Save Valley can rise again if there is an agreement on the way forward between all the parties, that is Government, Parks authority and the investors. I also feel that it is necessary to have Parks authority here at SVC. It is a good thing because they will secure wildlife. I am hoping that there will be some kind of compromise so that the SVC dream does not die forever,’’ he said.

“We believe that Save Valley can reclaim its top spot as one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in Zimbabwe and we are prepared to make investments again working together with the Parks authority to make sure animals here do not waste away.’’

Mr Stockil said the major challenge at the moment was to erect about 360 km of electric fence destroyed by villagers in surrounding communities who were gradually encroaching onto Save Valley.

About $4 million is required to rebuild the fence.


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