GOVERNMENT has finally heeded the call by the San community to give them game meat for relish in line with their culture.
The San used to reside in the Hwange National Park area in the 1920s surviving on game meat, but were relocated by the colonial government.
They have been begging government for rights to hunt.
Christopher Dube, also known as Tsholotsho San Chief Goledema, said government accepted their request.
“We are grateful to the government. We have been granted game meat as per our request for a long time. We used to hunt for game meat for cultural purposes, but due to the new set-up, we are no longer allowed to do so,” Chief Goledema said.
“We will feast on it and most importantly, we want the soup which we mix with our herbs to treat our bodies which have become too weak.
“We had been complaining that our population had become small, the soup concoction is important in enhancing our performance at night. This is one of the reasons why we want a lot of meat.”
Goledema said they were allocated two elephants and two buffalos twice or thrice per year.
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“This is the first time (and) we hope to have this kind of gesture twice or thrice per year, which will be much appreciated. There are some of us who are based in Plumtree, but those ones always get the meat,” he said.
Tsholotsho Rural District Council chairperson Esau Siwela said the San community would also benefit from Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (Campfire) projects.
Campfire is a government project established in 1988 to ensure that communities derive maximum benefit from the land they occupy which has suitable habitat for wildlife, as well as for livestock and agriculture.
“According to the quarter setting, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) are the ones who decide how many animals can be hunted down and in which area so they are the ones who are going to assist in hunting down the animals,” Siwela said.
“We realise that apart from getting meat, the community is going to get trophies from the mentioned animals which the council will assist in terms of marketing and the proceeds will be ploughed back to them for their economic development.”