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Govt eyes Imire Game Park

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GOVERNMENT has threatened to grab part of the privately-owned Imire Game Park in Marondera and parcel it into resettlement farming plots.

Own Correspondent

Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs minister Joel Biggie Matiza made the threats last Thursday as he wound up his provincial tour in Wedza.

He also ordered the private wildlife sanctuary to contribute towards the Community Share Ownership Trust (CSOT).

“We have miners here or companies qualifying for CSOT, I called them one by one and gave them a deadline that by February end, they should be on the programme to pay money into the trust into the account,” Matiza said.

“This is government’s programme, it is a law and should be obeyed, a law that will see development being delivered to the community. We need roads, boreholes, schools and clinics.

“In other provinces, the CSOT has worked well for the people. Only here in Mashonaland East province has the President (Robert Mugabe) never launched a CSOT. This means we are lagging behind. We have misplaced priorities.”

Matiza added: “We have Imire Game Park, who will be paying money into the trust account by February. I called the owners and despite some resistance from them I became victorious. We will be visiting such places to unearth hidden pockets of land or how much land they do have. There are hidden pockets of land, we will unearth those and give it to the people, end of story.”

He said his office would soon investigate the sanctuary to find out if it was utilising all its 4 500 hectares.

The game park, located 105km east of Harare was established by Gill and Norman Travers a decade ago as a wildlife conservation park.

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