HomeLocal NewsZanu PF bigwigs not giving up Save

Zanu PF bigwigs not giving up Save

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MASVINGO — Zanu PF bigwigs have upped their ante for the takeover of Save Valley Conservancy with Masvingo governor Titus Maluleke pleading with President Robert Mugabe to indigenise the world-acclaimed sanctuary.

TATENDA CHITAGU

Mugabe was in Masvingo on Friday where he officially opened the belated annual Chiefs’ Council Conference as well as launching seven community share ownership trusts in the province.

Speaking at the function, Maluleke, who is among Zanu PF bigwigs that were ordered out of the conservancy by Mugabe, said he was still puzzled why Save, out of all the conservancies in the country, was spared indigenisation.

“We are skeptical why Save Valley alone is defiant to indigenisation. Our concern is why Save alone among all the four conservancies in the country,” Maluleke said. He accused the owners of using “dirty tactics” to evade the takeover of the wildlife sanctuary.

“Former owners are using dirty tactics to confuse us. It generated a lot of controversy in Zimbabwe and abroad,” he said.

Mugabe did not respond to Maluleke’s plea. The president booted the “new owners” out and formed a Cabinet taskforce to tackle the Save Valley saga after several party bigwigs and securocrats attempted to take over the conservancy last year after getting 25-year leases and hunting quotas from the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.

Some of the party bigwigs were accused of wantonly slaughtering the game and leaving dangerous wild animals straying to nearby communities, posing a risk to the villagers’ lives and livestock.

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 minister Francis Nhema.

The grabbing of the conservancy was described as disturbing ahead of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly slated for this year in Victoria Falls.

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