Godfrey Marawanyika/Ndamu Sandu
MATABELELAND North governor Obert Mpofu has appealed to Tourism minister Francis Nhema to be allowed to hunt in the Railway Block No 40 & 41 in Hwange
after he was barred by the High Court from doing so.
Mpofu, through his lawyer Sindiso Mazibisa, in a letter dated June 24 to Nhema, alleged that the National Parks authority had “something personal against him”.
“Our client feels the management authority has something personal against him because it is only his farm and only one other farm owner which were targeted,” Mazibisa said the in the letter, of which the Zimbabwe
Independent has a copy.”The said ban on hunting is a blanket ban yet the worry about lion population could be controlled by way of a restricted quota on the concerned and species.”
In October last year, National Parks and Wildlife Authority director-general, Dr Morrison Mtsambiwa, imposed a hunting ban on farms in the Hwange area over fears of the lion population.
The ban covered farms 39, 40 and 41. Farms 40 and 41 belong to Mpofu while 39 is owned by Endoline Safaris.
In the letter to Nhema, Mazibisa said appeals to National Parks, even through the High Court, had not yielded any result. He said his client “needs your urgent and timeous intervention; otherwise the benefit he ought to have realised through the land reform programme is being destroyed before his own eyes”.
“Further and significantly, our client requests that he be allowed to conduct hunting operations only in respect of farm 40 and as for 41 the ban can continue if your ministry feels there is need.”
On Wednesday this week Nhema said he had not yet seen Mpofu’s appeal despite the letter having been sent to him last month.
“I do not know anything about that appeal, I have not seen it yet. Probably it is still somewhere within the system and I am still to see it,” he said.
Earlier this year, the High Court ruled against Mpofu’s continued hunting in the Railway Block, which is lot 40 and 41.
Yesterday, Mazibisa defended his client’s decision to appeal to the minister instead of seeking legal recourse.
“The matter was never argued on its merits. The High Court made a provision that after six weeks we can appeal,” he said.