ZIMBABWE has delayed the appointment of a substantive coordinator for the Gaza, Kruger and Gonarezhou Transfrontier National Park despite a South African-based organi
sation offering to pay the successful applicant. Once completed the park will become Africa’s biggest wildlife sanctuary merging three game parks – Kruger in South Africa, Limpopo in Mozambique and Gonarezhou in Zimbabwe. The combined project will be known as the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park.
The delay in the appointment of a coordinator follows the cancellation of interviews for the prospective candidate by the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.
South Africa and Mozambique already have full-time employees.
Peace Parks of South Africa says it is willing to fund Zimbabwe’s coordinator.
The delay in the progress of the project from the Zimbabwean end has led investors from South Africa to assist Angola in its restocking of parks and infrastructural development.
National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority director-general, Dr Morris Mtsambiwa, this week confirmed the delay.
“Within seven days we should be holding interviews. The delay was because of technical problems as we wanted people outside the Parks Authority to also apply,” he said.
“Since we did not get enough response we have decided to interview those who applied and most of them are employed by the Parks and Wildlife Authority.”
Infrastructural development is also lagging behind on the Zimbabwean side compared to its two project partners.
The project has also been greatly handicapped by lack of funding from both the private sector and government.
However, in last year’s budget government availed $2,2 billion towards the parks initiative.
Tourism minister Francis Nhema this week confirmed that Angola was getting assistance from South African investors but said this was a regional position adding that they had seconded someone to the parks authority to be the coordinator.
“There is a regional agreement to assist them. The last time when we met as Sadc ministers in Angola the hosts asked for assistance from everyone. That’s why South Africa is assisting them,” Nhema said.