Parks Authority dragged to court for double leasing safari area

Source: Parks Authority dragged to court for double leasing safari area -Newsday Zimbabwe

SAFARI operator has dragged the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Parks Authority) to the High Court for leasing the Chirisa Safari area which it was occupying to another company.

The safari operator Glenulas Trading Private Limited trading as Sitatunga Safaris Zimbabwe said its lease to operate in the Chirisa Safari area still subsisted.

 

 

Chirisa Safari area is in Midlands.

In an urgent chamber application filed at the Bulawayo High Court, Glenulas cited Parks Authority and Carbon Green Africa (Private) Limited, which has been granted the lease, as respondents.

The parties appeared before Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Evangelista Kabasa on Tuesday.

In his founding affidavit, Glenulas director and shareholder Malcolm Ambrose submitted that his company signed a 10-year exclusive lease agreement in January 2017.

 

“On signing the lease, the applicant (Glenulas) took occupation of the entire lease area and has been in peaceful and undisturbed occupation since then until April 2024 when the first and second respondents (Parks Authority and Carbon Green Africa) unlawful despoiled the applicant,” read the affidavit.

Ambrose submitted that clause 23 of the lease agreement entitled his company to exclusive use of all the existing structures.

 

“Applicant’s main business activity on the leased area is hunting safaris, game viewing, photographic safari and game restocking. Applicant’s clients are international hunters who are always accommodated in the safari area. Hunts are always sold months in advance and packages include accommodation and meals,” read the affidavit.

 

 

Ambrose submitted that on April 7, 2022, his company sought clarity on the role of Carbon Green in the leased area and Carbon Green instructed its employees and contractors to stop all work on site and vacate the leased area.

He said on  April 10, 2024, his company received clients in the leased area  and approached Carbon Green for the use of Ingwe Camp to accommodate clients and  Carbon Green refused saying it also wanted to use the facility at the same time.

Ambrose submitted that his firm had to use a tent to accommodate the clients.

On April 17, 2024 there was a meeting with Chirisa Safari area manager where the safari operator requested the Parks Authority to stop Carbon activities, he submitted.

“It is my view that the first and second respondents failed to appreciate the essence of the lease. First respondent could not lawfully enter into any other agreement in respect of the area under lease but all indications are that first respondent has entered into an agreement which subtracts from applicant’s rights, thereby dispossessing the applicant of its peaceful and undisturbed occupation of the leased property,” Ambrose submitted.

Ambrose prayed for a spoliation order  to be granted in his company’s favour.

In an opposing affidavit, Parks Authority legal director Nyasha Mutyambizi said they would file their reasons at the next hearing set for Wednesday.

“The reasons to support the application to so supplement are that the first respondent was given  very little notice to file opposing papers since the urgent chamber application and the notice of set down were both served at the same time and only a day before the date of set down. For these reasons the respondent could not gather the entire documents relevant to the case in order to attach them to its opposing papers,” Mutyambizi submitted.

“The applicant is effectively asking the court to amend the agreement it signed with the Parks.”

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 0