The Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has barred all prospecting and mining activities at Longueville Farm in Gwanda.
The farm has reportedly been at the centre of a dispute pitting some unnamed Zanu PF bigwigs and six war veterans resettled at the property.
In a letter dated August 1, Parks and Wildlife Management Authority principal ecologist Felix Murindagomo said: “It has been brought to the attention of the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority of the intention to prospect and then mine for gold on the mentioned (Longueville).”
The letter was copied to the Gwanda mining commissioner, only identified as Moyo.
“As you may not have been aware, Longueville Farm holds a sable breeding permit number 129 (1) and (2) no 52011 ref D296i issued in terms of the 1975 Parks and Wildlife Act Chapter 20/14 sections 62 of 1998.
Any mining activity is prohibited unless under a permit issued by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Management, which can only be issued following a rigorous environmental assessment supervised by the Environmental Management Agency.
“It is therefore contrary to the above to issue a prospecting or mining certificate to any person wishing to do so without a valid permit from the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Management.”
NewsDay has since discovered that two of the affected former freedom fighters are senior police officers.
One of them is Officer Commanding Law and Order in Bulawayo, Superintendent Andrew Mupungu, who is also the investigating officer in Mthwakazi Liberation Front leaders Paul Siwela, John Gazi and Charles Thomas’ treason case.
Mupungu was labelled a Zanu PF activist by Siwela in his affidavit to Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku at the Supreme Court where Siwela was seeking release from prison after spending three months under incarceration.
Yesterday, Mupungu confirmed he had been allocated a piece of land at the conservancy.
The other affected senior police officer is Chief Superintendent Rita Masina, commander of Bulawayo district police.
Zanu PF heavyweights in Matabeleland South Province were reportedly gunning to take over the property