Peter Matambanadzo, Senior Reporter
Government has ordered a stop to the illegal occupation of Save Valley Conservancy in Chiredzi by landless indigenous people as it was not in the national interest.
Lands and Rural Resettlement Minister Cde Douglas Mombeshora issued the directive during a meeting held at Hakamela Camp recently to resolve the long standing dispute at the conservancy.
The meeting was attended by traditional leaders, Members of Parliament, farmers, war veterans, Parks and Wildlife Management Authority officials and communities around Save Valley Conservancy.
“People should stop this continued illegal occupation of the conservancy. Government will find a suitable area to allocate you. If you continue to illegally occupy land we will have problems,” said Cde Mombeshora.
Environment, Water and Climate Minister Cde Saviour Kasukuwere said Government was concerned with the dispute and wanted a lasting solution.
He said Government was working on a model to ensure that the Save Valley Conservancy becomes a sustainable conservation area that creates jobs and benefit the community.
There is a protracted dispute between private conservancies, the community and new farmers allocated land under the land reform programme in 2000 over the conservancy.
Government assigned a ministerial taskforce chaired by Cde Kasukuwere to tour the conservancy on a fact-finding mission to enable Cabinet to make an informed decision on the way forward.
Other members of the taskforce who toured the Save Valley Conservancy were Local Government Public Works and National Housing Minister Cde Ignatius Chombo, Home Affairs Minister Cde Kembo Mohadi and Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Cde Walter Mzembi.
Traditional chiefs from Bikita, Zaka, Chiredzi and Chipinge represented their communities at the meeting and urged Government to urgently address the issue of multiple ownership.