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    Saturday, 10 September 2016

    Councils buying luxury cars from Campfire proceeds - Muchinguri



    MORRIS BISHI
    CHIREDZI BUREAU

    CHIREDZI –
    The Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Change Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri has said that some councils are abusing Campfire proceeds by buying luxury cars for top managers and warned that stern action would be taken against them.
    Campfire is the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE).
    She said that the proceeds were being abused at the expense of the poor who are supposed to be the beneficiaries of the programme.
    Speaking during a stakeholders meeting held to find solutions to wildlife and human conflict that took place at South Eastern College two weeks ago, Kashiri said councils are hijacking proceeds from Campfire to buy luxury vehicles and pay their workers' salaries while communities who should benefit wallow in poverty. She said communities are the owners of the Campfire projects and her Ministry will start auditing the projects to see how all councils are using the money. She also said council officials are bribing influential chiefs to silence them.
    "We have four authorities which oversee management of wildfire and Campfire is among them. We have 8 programmes here in Chiredzi. Councils should not take decisions without consulting the owners of the animals which is the community. Fifty five percent should go to the community and councils were given their percentage but you should not take decisions but consult the communities. What we are hearing is that rural district councils are now hijacking all the proceeds and we have a lot of complaints over those issues:
    "Councils are buying luxury vehicles and paying salaries using the money while the intended beneficiaries are living in abject poverty. We hear that councils are bribing influential chiefs to silence them and as a ministry we will soon order for an audit.
    "We have noted with happiness that councils that are involving their people in the running of the Campfire projects have greatly improved the standards of living of the communities and this is particularly so in Mbire and Hurungwe. People are losing cattle to animals but for their sacrifice of living alongside the wild animals they get nothing, please stop what you are doing" said Kashiri.
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