Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Protect wildlife sanctuary

Protect wildlife sanctuary

August 28, 2012 in Editorial
The granting of 25-year-leases to Zanu PF politicians to be part-owners of 
Save Valley in the Lowveld spells disaster for the sanctuary that contains 
an estimated 100 000 animals.
Over the past week the conservancy has run adverts warning the nation that 
“a few greedy individuals who care only for what they can take for 
themselves” were bent on destroying the animal sanctuary. The individuals 
were named as Masvingo governor Titus Maluleke, Higher Education minister 
Stan Mudenge, former Gutu South MP Shuvai Mahofa, Chiredzi North MP Ronald 
Ndava and his Chiredzi South counterpart, Ailess Baloyi.

There is no denying that the involvement of the politicians, who were 
granted leases by the department of National Parks as part of efforts to 
reform the wildlife sector, will have a destabilising effect on the 
conservancy and this may ultimately destroy the whole south-eastern wildlife 

The livelihoods of about 10 000 people, who stay in the area that is 
unsuitable for farming, revolve around the conservancy which is now under 
threat. One shudders to think what will become of them if the conservancy is 
plundered. Before doling out 25-year leases, the department of National 
Parks should have carefully considered the ramifications of such a move, 
which is not only ill-timed but serves members of one political party.

Zimbabwe desperately needs to avoid sending negative signals to investors, 
such as granting people with few resources and questionable interest in 
wildlife management control over such a vast area.

The country is at the moment preparing to host the United Nations World 
Tourism Organisation general assembly next year and such costly distractions 
are damaging to the country’s reputation.

If Maluleke and company are keen on establishing their own conservancy, why 
shouldn’t they occupy idle land in Zaka, Chiredzi, Bikita, Buhera and 
Chipinge that borders Save and start their own project?

Setting their eyes on a successful project that was started by others in 
1991 betrays their intention to reap where they did not sow. The department 
should be stopped before it parcels out a shining animal sanctuary to Zanu 
PF loyalists, who will certainly ruin it. 


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