FORMER Zanu PF Manicaland provincial chairperson Basil Nyabadza has lashed out at party officials who tried to grab the lucrative safari landholdings in the Save Valley Conservancy under the guise of indigenisation, describing them as overzealous.
Report by Obey Manayiti
Nyabadza, who also chairs the Agriculture and Rural Development Authority (Arda), said the Zanu PF bigwigs should be stopped before they destroy the conservancy.
About 38 senior Zanu PF members were set to benefit from the conservancy before they were stopped following a public spat between Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Walter Mzembi and his Environment and Natural Resources Management counterpart Francis Nhema.
Speaking at Mutare Press Club on Friday, Nyabadza said the Save Valley Conservancy grab should be deplored.
Arda is a founding member of the conservancy.
“Save Valley Conservancy carries almost all the species in Africa and we should protect that conservancy. Members of Zanu PF, 38 of them, in the name of Zanu PF and indigenisation, tried to take over,” Nyabadza said.
The grabbing of the conservancy was described as disturbing ahead of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly slated for next year.
Turning to the Chisumbanje ethanol project, Nyabadza admitted that he was protecting Zanu PF interests in the multi-million dollar project.
His sentiments drew the ire of representatives of the local community and a lobby group, Platform for Youth Development (PYD), who urged him to be non-partisan.
“The project has relied more on the personalities of well-known political and partisan persons who employ political tactics at the expense of business,” said PYD director Claris Madhuku.