BY GARIKAI MAFIRAKUREVA
FARAI Chauke, a senior partner at Chauke and Associates, is set to appear at Chiredzi Magistrates’ Court on February 4, 2020 facing a disorderly conduct charge after he staged a one-man demonstration at a function organised by Green Safari Africa in Nyangambe last week.
Chauke, who claims to represent the Nyangambe community, is also facing 22 counts of forging signatures of community members of a thriving community wildlife conservancy, Nyangambe Wildlife Project, being run by local people in Chiredzi in partnership with Green Safari Africa.
Chauke is accused of disrupting the event, where Green Africa Safari was handing over Christmas food hampers to beneficiaries of the project.
Stray animals from the Save Valley Conservancy forced 181 families from Nyangambe, who settled around the conservancy during the 2000 fast-track land reform programme, to start the project in 2006 in a bid to end human-wildlife conflict.
In 2016, an ecologist approved Nyangambe Wildlife Project after assessment and they immediately acquired an ownership clearance from Chiredzi Rural District Council.
The community then put aside more than 5 000 hectares of their grazing area, which they fenced to minimise human-wildlife conflict.
Addressing the community at the event attended by Chiredzi district development co-ordinator Lovemore Chisema, managing director and Safari operator at Green Safari Africa Company, Phillip Mafuta, said they recently received a hunting permit from the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.
“We partnered with a new investor, Tomas Kjellson, who is from South Africa and is also chief executive officer of Green Safari Africa. We are going to hunt in Nyangambe and Massapas Ranch, which is in Save Valley Conservancy,” Chisema said.
Sakala Mukwena, a villager from Nyangambe, said: “We are happy to have an investor. We hope Green Safari Africa is going to pay us better money as promised because since 2006, we have never hunted independently. We used to do it in collaboration with other partners who are within the Save Valley Conservancy, but we got little money out of the deals.
“We are happy and we welcome the investor because now we are going to be able to pay game scouts who are manning our conservancy just like other projects similar to ours.”
However, Chauke who felt Green Africa Safari was duping the elderly people in the community, staged a one-man demonstration, raising a banner denouncing Green Africa Safari describing them as poachers, shouting expletives and disrupting the event in the process.
He was subsequently arrested and taken to Mkwasine Police Station.