Zanu PF conservancy invaders face boot

ZANU PF bigwigs who invaded the Save Valley Conservancy could soon be booted out.

Report by Wonai Masvingise, Senior Reporter

Military chiefs, the local authority and traditional chiefs from the area resolved on Wednesday that the conservancy should be run by the local council.

Trouble in the area began after about 25 new farmers, among them Zanu PF big- wigs, some of them hailing from far-off lands, occupying plots in the conservancy, were awarded hunting permits by Environment and Natural Resources Management minister Francis Nhema.

Among those who had occupied the conservancy were Zanu PF women’s league heavyweight Shuvai Mahofa, Masvingo governor Titus Maluleke, Health deputy minister Douglas Mombeshora, war veterans’ leader Joseph Chinotimba and the late Vice-President Simon Muzenda’s son Tongai Muzenda.

A Zanu PF insider who attended the meeting at the conservancy this week told NewsDay that they had resolved that the conservancy would now fall under the jurisdiction of council.

“It was resolved conservancies will now fall under local councils under the supervision of chiefs,” the source said. Ten percent of revenue generated from there will be remitted to government.”

The development follows the Zanu PF politburo decision to appoint a four-member technical committee to carry out investigations in the area after Tourism minister Walter Mzembi held a series of meetings with top government officials lobbying for the removal of the “invaders”.

Reliable sources within the politburo told NewsDay yesterday that the committee was not making any progress due to squabbles over who would chair the body.

Mzembi confirmed the committee had not yet met to identify a chairperson and had not commenced its mandate.

“We have not yet met as a committee. Somebody has to take responsibility and lead the committee. We have not been invited to convene as a committee. Speaking on my behalf, I am still waiting to be called to the meeting by whoever has been designated to chair the meeting,” Mzembi said.

“If I had been designated as the chairperson of the committee, I would have convened a meeting the next day because of the urgency of the matter.”

However, Nhema told NewsDay a completely different story, saying all was on course.

“We are going to have stakeholders’ meetings with all the people involved to get their view of this. The politburo said we must go and investigate and come up with a way forward, so we are still to report to them for finalisation,” Nhema said.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said the politburo was waiting for the committee to report back on its findings.

“We set up a committee involving the Minister of Environment, the Minister of Tourism, the Minister of Lands and Resettlement and the Minister of Local Government. We asked them to carry out an investigation of what is happening and they have not yet brought back a report on their findings. So the politburo cannot do anything without that report,” Gumbo said.

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