HomeLocal NewsYouths besiege bird sanctuary

Youths besiege bird sanctuary


More than 20 youths alleged to be from the Zimbabwe National Youth Service Graduates Association (ZNYGA), a Zanu PF-aligned youth militia, yesterday besieged Kuimba Shiri at Lake Chivero threatening to take over the bird sanctuary.

The youths alleged the owner disrespected the Zimbabwe Bird and had no portraits of President Mugabe at the famous home of birds.

When NewsDay visited the resort area popular with local and foreign tourists workers were still in shock.
They said the youths demanded that they release the birds, accusing the owner Gary Stafford of keeping them captive.

According to the workers, the youths threatened to return in two weeks if Stafford failed to put President Mugabes portrait and the national flag at the sanctuary.

Stafford said the youths had defied Vice- President Joice Mujuru during a similar invasion last year.

Last year, Vice-President Mujuru said this will never happen again, but its still happening.

Does it give us confidence in the words of our leaders? I dont know.

Why are the police not investigating this? This is political and a clear case of trespassing, he said.
Last year, it took the intervention of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) and other players to remove a group of war veterans who had taken over resorts surrounding Lake Chivero.

Mujuru, who was acting President at the time, apologised through ZTA CEO Karikoga Kaseke.
ZNYGA chairman for Harare Province Tawanda Musengi said they came to take pictures of the Zimbabwe Bird (Hungwe) and demand that it be freed.

We came because we knew the guy was keeping a Hungwe bird captive, he said.

We even asked why he didnt have a portrait of President Mugabe and the flag as his was an institution. We told him to put his house in order and we will go back there in two weeks.

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