Army generals booted out of conservancy

via Army generals booted out of conservancy – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 14, 2014 Wisdom Mdzungairi

THE Zanu PF politburo has booted out top army officials and Masvingo party heavyweights from the money-spinning safari landholdings in the prized Save Valley Conservancy [SVC] for double-dipping, NewsDay has learnt.

SVC, established in 1991 in Masvingo, is the largest private wildlife sanctuary in the world.

The explosive special politburo meeting chaired by President Robert Mugabe on Monday also resolved to remove all resettled farmers from properties protected under the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (Bippas), among them Sango, Sabi, Chishakwe, Masapasi, Makore, Gunundwe and Chamurwe ranches.

The properties were reportedly owned by German, Danish, Dutch and South African nationals.

All gazetted land under the SVC besides properties under Bippas, will now become Parks estates expanding the territory under the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks), which currently controls almost 20% of the country’s tota land area.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo confirmed Mugabe criticised top party officials and generals for “double-dipping” since they had benefited under the land reform programme.

Gumbo added the government would with immediate effect withdraw all 25-year leases offered to the top Zanu PF officials under the Wildlife Best Land Reform Policy that seeks to open conservancies to black Zimbabweans.

“The politburo made a decision to remove all those that had been allocated leases in Save Valley. It does not matter whether you are a politburo member or not, all beneficiaries were ordered out of that place,” Gumbo said.

“The issue was if you did not yet have a farm, then government will give you one elsewhere and not in Save Valley. It was also not about which faction you belong Mai (VP Joice) Mujuru or (Emmerson) Mnangagwa, but greediness. Most of them are multiple land owners which is what the politburo said should not happen. That was the decision, and their removal must be expedited as per the politburo [resolution].”

The Zanu PF spokesperson said the move was a win-win situation because the white former owners were also set to lose their land as it would be incorporated into Parks estates.

Gumbo said that Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti had been asked to expedite the eviction of the politburo colleagues among other beneficiaries.

A high-level Zanu PF official also said Mugabe had during the politburo meeting accused the beneficiaries of greed by grabbing SVC when they had benefited under another government economic programme.

“The rest of the land besides Bippas, under wildlife, will now fall under government through Zimparks. Zimparks will choose how to protect the area. Most likely Zimparks will lease the properties while the Community Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources [Campfire] is expected to play a leading role to benefit communities,” the official said.
“The rationale behind the politburo decision is that we are trying to see how the local communities should benefit from the abundant wildlife resource in that area. So [Environment, Water and Climate minister Saviour] Kasukuwere was asked to cancel all the offer letters that were signed by his predecessor [Francis Nhema] while Lands minister [Douglas Mombeshora] should find land to resettle those that did not have farms.”

The Zanu PF and military elites who had benefited from the SVC seizures include Retired Colonel Claudius Makova, Lieutenant-Colonel David Moyo, Major-General Gibson Mashingaidze, Assistant Commissioner Connel Dube, Masvingo provincial intelligence officer Chibaya, Major-General Engelbert Rugeje, Brigadier-General Livingstone Chineka, the late Higher Education minister Stan Mudenge, politburo member Nelson Mawema, Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora, ex-Masvingo governor Titus Maluleke, Zanu PF central committee member Enock Porusingazi, Senator Shuvai Mahofa; Zaka East MP Samson Mukanduri, and ex-MPs Ailess Baloyi, Abraham Sithole, Noel Mandebvu and Ronald Ndava.

Others included former Tourism secretary Sylvester Maunganidze, Masvingo provincial administrator Felix Chikovo, late Vice-President Simon Muzenda’s son and Public Service deputy minister Tongai Muzenda, Elliot Takawira [believed to be related to national hero Leopold Takawira] and Buhera South MP and war veterans’ leader Joseph Chinotimba.

However, another high-level official said: “Save Valley has been very successful for wildlife. Villagised resettlement is untenable. Mombeshora was tasked with finding alternative land to resettle those people that will be removed from Save.”

The politburo reportedly discovered that it was erroneous to parcel out the conservancy without taking due regard to the tourism potential in the area given Buffalo Range Airport was a gateway to the world’s biggest animal kingdom Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park straddling Gonarezhou National Park, Coutada 16 (Gaza) in Mozambique and South Africa’s Kruger National Park.

“The politburo wondered how some among us invaded a wildlife jewel and therefore made redundant a national airport like Buffalo Range. The politburo has moved to correct that,” the official said.

The politburo also ordered party officials to stop the rush for safaris and that all conservancies such as Midlands and Gwayi, among others, be turned into national parks.

Transport minister Obert Mpofu, Matabeleland North provincial minister Cain Mathema, ex-Matabeleland North governor Thokozile Mathuthu and late Vice-President John Nkomo who resettled in the Gwayi River conservancy will also lose their properties.

The SVC issue has been divisive in the Zanu PF politics as Cabinet ministers have been fighting over the issue. Tourism minister Walter Mzembi, who was also initially allocated a property in the conservancy, but later withdrew, was involved in a public spat with Nhema while recently he clashed with Kasukuwere over the matter.

But, the Zanu PF Masvingo provincial executive has repeatedly labelled Mzembi a “sell-out”.

SVC has drawn support from the World Wildlife Fund and investors from Europe and the United States who were protected under Bippas.



  • comment-avatar
    tophaevy 9 years ago

    Oh my, has someone finally seen the light? This is what we have been saying all along. What is now left is to strip the top heavy of the multiple farms they grabbed and give it to the more deserving. When you are alive today, you are extremely lucky, for you have the opportunity to repent and live by your Lord’s demands and may be the dear leader has got the message.

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    ZPF if you want to see Zimbabwe start to go forward you need to stop ALL these ongoing land disturbances and go back to the drawing board with ALL stakeholders. Are 14 years of disturbances and utter destruction not enough? Where is the basic wisdom and business senses in all this.

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    What is win-win about white former owners also losing their land?The sickness and confusion in the Zanu pf psyche is sad, shocking and mind boggling.Any way, a time must come for all those people varikutonga to realize that their degrees in violence will not always save their over fed skins from people misgoverned for too long and generally taken for granted by those who claim to have the army and what not at their beck and call.

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    Gomogranny 9 years ago

    Lets’ hope the rumour of ZIMPARKS being ZANUFIED is not hereby translated from rumour to fact….ZIMPARKS will be the new “sactified” poaching threat and one which will ultimately destroy our natural heritage. lest you hink I am scaremongering I watched as the last thirty Eland, the last four ZEBRA and the last 5 Waterbuck in a ZIMPARK in the Eastern Highlands were shot as “rations” for Parks staff. Now, with no animals left it is the Msasa Woodland for sale instead of Eland Meat….so much for securing the future of our Tourism potential.

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    Gomogranny 9 years ago

    Lets’ hope the rumour of ZIMPARKS being ZANUFIED is not hereby translated from rumour to fact….ZIMPARKS will be the new “sanctified” poaching threat and one which will ultimately destroy our natural heritage. Lest you think I am scaremongering I watched as the last thirty Eland, the last four ZEBRA and the last 5 Waterbuck in a ZIMPARK in the Eastern Highlands were shot as “rations” for Parks staff. Now, with no animals left it is the Msasa Woodland for sale, carried out on ZIMPARKS bakkies, instead of Eland Meat….so much for securing the future of our Tourism potential.

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    Roving Ambassador 9 years ago

    Do you seriously think that was the meeting’s main agenda. Wool over our eyes. This is the diversionary tactic again from ZANU. The economic situation is dire .So they have to be seen to be doing something. They did not have any good news. This issue will be water under the bridge in a moment then thing swill be normal again,the ZANU way.
    Moyo is really suffering within this oppressive ZANU camp. He cannot think freely anymore like that Yamamoto chap.He cannot not write good honest articles of old. His hands are tied. Poor Moyo ,you have sold your soul. You have sold your freedom. The Zanu shackles have you pinned down.
    Enjoy it.

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    Petal 9 years ago


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    Petal 9 years ago

    Obert Mpofu ANOTHER BLOOD SUCKING LYCHEE believe he has a massive shopping complex in Bulawayo while his fellow people there suffer in front of his BIG GOGGLY EYES

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    John Thomas 9 years ago

    These people are sick

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    Zanu PF the racist party that steal from those that created and managed to break everything they touch.

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    This is a disgrace to any right thinking person. The idea of the politburo sitting to deliberate on such an issue without warning these people not to do it elsewhere means they will turn their looting efforts elsewhere. What happened to the wild animals we used to see in their multiple looted farms?

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    Panda moyo 9 years ago

    Are you quite certain that chombo is not in this matter?hmm strange.

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    Mlimo 9 years ago

    Oh the Dutch and the Germans own land in Save? So what’s the deal ? Kick out some zanupf bigwigs get some loans from the Dutch and EU then take back the land. Never ends. We can see through the ploy. What preference do the Dutch get over white zimbos who have worked hard to make Rhodesia and Zimbabwe better? Boggles my mind.

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    Chaka 9 years ago

    Clearly stated Zpf officials have benefitted. I hope foreign investers r reading this.

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    Justice 9 years ago

    Such is the law and order in Zim, the ZANU politburo decides NOT parliament!

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    Doris 9 years ago

    So, one question – who hold Title Deeds?

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    munzwa 9 years ago

    I smell a rat…Mlimo has a point why are foreign investors more important than zimbo investors?Is Parks only taking over those properties belonging to the zimbos and working along side the Dutch and Germans?Are more farms now to be taken to settle those parasites who will be removed from the conservancy??

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    Pakukutu 9 years ago

    Someone has a skewed understanding of win -win

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    Puluko 9 years ago

    Out of interest, are there any animals left by now?

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    adam jones 9 years ago

    They are trying to seen to be getting clean to attract FDI. But people are wiser now. Who wants to ceed 51% of their money to Mliswa? Now they want to be seen to changing cource? But why did they let the generals occupy the land in the first place? No investment until Zanu goes – simple.

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    Mixed Race 9 years ago

    These guys are greedy and stupid at the same time because they have no clue how to run these remote animal areas.I know of one old man who tried to run a safari area which turned into a disaster because he received bookings from about 5 Americans to have a hunting safari.They paid him in advance so when they came they were faced with the real day to day problems of Zimbabwe like ZESA power cut which led to more problems like no water, no cold beers and no lights because this ignorant owner never thought of back up generator power in case of electricity failure.
    Guess what happened next.These guys cancelled their stay and they needed to be refunded which was impossible because the guy had used most of the advance payment.Running a safari in a remote place requires intelligent planning and skills to fix things like generators,fridges,water pumps,communication radios and vehicles because you are stuck in the wilderness with foreigners who expect first world services for their money.