Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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Govt acts on Save Conservancy

Govt acts on Save Conservancy
Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa

George Maponga Masvingo Bureau
Government will soon make a final determination on the future of the lucrative Save Valley Conservancy in line with the wildlife-based land reform policy as it can no longer tolerate a situation where the sector remains a preserve of a few whites, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.

Wildlife-based land reform opens the door for indigenous blacks to be directly involved in the wildlife sector.

He said this last Friday in response to an appeal by Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Senator Shuvai Mahofa during her tour of Nandi-Arda Estate in Chiredzi, that the province wanted black players in the Save Valley.

Sen Mahofa said there was need to ensure black players returned to Save Valley after Government withdrew hunting permits from scores of indigenous players.

VP Mnangagwa said he would ask President Mugabe for permission to visit Save Valley to have an assessment of the situation.

‘’We will visit Save Valley in the near future and I will ask President Mugabe for permission to visit the conservancy because we want to bring closure to the problems that are there. However, I want to make it clear that we cannot accept a situation where an area is said to be an exclusive territory for white people, that cannot happen here,’’ he said.

‘’Indigenous black people should also be involved in operations at Save Valley and we will take a decision that makes the majority of our people happy.

“The decision that we will make at Save Valley will surely make others happy while others will be sad but that will be the obtaining situation that will not change.’’

He said the remaining crop of liberation war leaders led by President Mugabe wanted to leave all the country’s natural resources and heritage in the hands of Zimbabweans.

“We cannot have an area that is said to be a preserve of white people only. Black people should also benefit alongside white people because this country is ours,’’ he added.

Sen Mahofa said the Masvingo provincial leadership wanted indigenous players to return at Save Valley. She said beside benefiting from the lucrative conservancy operations, blacks would also guard against looting and externalisation of resources.

‘’The issue of indigenous black people being involved in operations at Save Valley is also a security issue because we need our people to be involved and partner whites so that our wildlife is not stolen and illegally taken out of the country,’’ she said.

‘’Indigenous blacks who qualify should be given hunting leases to run operations at Save Valley because we cannot have a situation where only white people are benefiting,’’ she added.

The Minister, who was among bigwigs whose hunting permits at Save Valley were cancelled, said indigenous blacks kicked out of the conservancy should also be considered in future allocations at Save Valley.

Government cancelled Save Valley hunting leases for several bigwigs, mainly from Masvingo, after declaring that most of the beneficiaries were in possession of farms elsewhere allocated under the land reform programme.

Save Valley was incorporated into the parks estates run by the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.

However, white operators are still at Save Valley especially those whose properties are protected under Bilateral Investment and Promotion Agreements.

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