ENVIRONMENT MINISTER Saviour Kasukuwere has reportedly summoned security chiefs and owners of Mjingwe Ranch in Mwenezi to end the ownership wrangle over the animal sanctuary.
MOSES MATENGA STAFF REPORTER
This followed disturbances that rocked the conservancy when a group led by the security chiefs threatened to take over the property in defiance of a directive by the Zanu PF politburo ordering them to vacate the conservancy.
Although Kasukuwere was not immediately available for comment, impeccable government sources said the meeting would be held in Harare on Friday.
“The Mjingwe conservancy community committee and the 25-year lease holders have been summoned to the Honourable Kasukuwere’s office so that the government policy made at the politburo meeting can be spelt out,” a source privy to the matter said.
“Nothing has changed (on the Zanu PF order) and the meeting with Kasukuwere will quickly end the current conflict,” a senior government official who declined to be named said.
Kasukuwere’s meeting will be preceded by a community meeting. A meeting with war veterans in the community is also set for today.
The security chiefs embroiled in the fight to control the animal sanctuary defied the Zanu PF politburo directive to stay off the wildlife conservancy threatening to evict white owner Darryl Collett, who is in a partnership with local traditional chiefs.
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Collett is also expected to attend the meeting after fleeing to Bulawayo for his safety.
The group at the centre of the fight is led by Police Assistant Commissioner Elliot Muswita and Brigadier-General Josphat Kudumba and includes army Captain Solomon Ndlovu, headman Peterson Mhizha Mudumo, Raphael Shoko and Finger Tapera.
Informed sources told the sister paper NewsDay that following the disturbances over the weekend, some 1 000 villagers from the local community gathered to protest.
The security chiefs want Collet and his partners out so that they take over the ranch.