Save Valley Conservancy to be Indigenised, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is a song which, once heard, is never forgotten; a mood to suit the needs of any soul, any time; a spell that binds all those who know her. Her voice brings forth many melodies. Zimbabwe is known to be the land rich in diversity ranging from low-lying semi-desert to lush highlands strewn with forests and lakes. Situated on a high plateau in Southern Africa and covering 390 245 Km.

Conserving the environment it helps to preserve the natural and tourism attractions like valleys, water bodies, hills and mountains, wildlife among others. The attempt to protect nature promotes the tourism sector. Countries like Zimbabwe have started this with the aim of saving conservancy, widely regarded as the richest and largest private wildlife sanctuary in the world which was invaded in 2012 by top Zanu PF officials, is set to end after the government decided to indigenize it and establish a national park in the conservancy.

According to Wilfried Pabst, a German investor who is also vice-chairperson of the conservancy said the conservancy operators had signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Parks Authority to establish the National park. He said they were also close to concluding negotiations with Environment, Water and Climate minister Saviour Kasukuwere to finalize details. Kasukuwere disclosed government’s plans last Sunday claiming among other things that the development is going to result in the establishment of “a significant National park”.”We are moving ahead to indigenize Save Valley Conservancy and this is going to lead to the creation of a significant National park. I will provide specifics later but you can rest assured that it will be indigenized,” said Kasukuwere.

While confirming Kasukuwere’s comments, Pabst however emphasized that the indigenization would not affect foreign-owned properties in the conservancy, nor would it be a “freebie” where government or locals just grab properties for free. “About 35% of the conservancy is foreign-owned and this will not be affected by the indigenization,” he explained adding that “another 34% will not be affected because it is already in indigenous hands. However, the 51% to be indigenized will come from the remainder which is currently in the hands of white Zimbabweans.”

Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Walter Mzembi who strongly spoke out against the invasion of Save Conservancy by Zanu PF officials in 2012 declined to comment, referring all questions to Kasukuwere. Zanu PF loyalists, particularly from Masvingo province, parcelled out the conservancy among themselves before embarking on an orgy of wildlife hunting, sparking local and international outrage.