PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have agreed to end invasions of the money-spinning Save Valley Conservancy –– the largest private wildlife sanctuary in the world –– by army generals and party heavyweights.
Report by Staff Writer
In a recent interview with Zimbabwe Independent Tsvangirai said the two principals agreed to deal with the issue at their Monday meeting last week.
“We agreed to stop the nonsense at the Save Valley Conservancy,” said Tsvangirai.
“It would appear the (Masvingo) governor (Titus Maluleke) is being defiant by putting his own chiefs into the conservancies. The president said he will deal with that issue. It is a political issue –– a Zanu PF issue. In terms of the land reform, the president confirmed that conservancies were excluded,” he said.
The move comes two months after Mugabe, in a politburo meeting, fiercely attacked army commanders, including major-generals and senior Zanu PF officials, for grabbing safari landholdings in the Save Conservancy and ordered them out immediately.
He accused them of being “greedy” for grabbing conservancies when they already owned farms seized from white commercial farmers evicted during the chaotic and violent land reform programme.
The Zanu PF politburo set up a committee comprising Local Government, Rural and Urban Development minister Ignatius Chombo, Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement minister Herbert Murerwa, Tourism and Hospitality minister Walter Mzembi and Environment and Natural Resources Management minister Francis Nhema to deal with the issue but the committee has reportedly made no headway.
Zanu PF officials and military elites have benefitted from the seizures of safari operations at Save Conservancy.