National Parks blocks $11 billion equipment

Loughty Dube

THE Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority has blocked the distribution of equipment worth over US$60 000 ($11 billion) donated by an international organisation to Hwange National Park where dozens of elephants died last year due to water shortage.

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The equipment has been lying idle due to differences between the Department of National Parks and Wildlife and the Zimbabwe Conservation Taskforce (ZCTF), whom the donors want to implement and oversee the project.
 
The equipment is for the repair of diesel engines and water pumps, upgrading of water troughs, repair of National Parks motor vehicles and cash for the purchase of fuel for the fleet.

ZCTF chairman, Johnny Rodriguez, this week confirmed that the equipment was still lying idle while cash to implement projects at the park remained unused due to differences with the National Parks department.

“We received the donations three months ago mainly from America but we reached a stalemate over the disbursement because Parks wanted to take charge while the donor wanted ZCTF to take charge,” said Rodriguez.
 
Contacted to comment on the stand-off, Nhema said he was not aware of the letter from ZCTF and the stand-off but said he had met with some of the donors.

“As far as I am concerned there are no problems because I met with some of the donors and they were happy. What I hear from you is news and the issue of the letter from ZCTF is also news to me,” Nhema said.