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    Saturday, 10 September 2016

    Muchinguri shoots down Mahofa bid for conservancies





    MORRIS BISHI
    CHIREDZI BUREAU

    CHIREDZI –
    The Minister of State for Masvingo, Shuvai Ben Mahofa never seem to have enough on her plate when it comes to takeover of productive projects as she recently tried to push a Cabinet colleague to designate wildlife conservancies for redistribution to party functionaries.
    Mahofa and former MP for Chiredzi North Ronald Ndava suggested to the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Change Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri that Government take over private conservancies and redistribute them to indigenous people. However, Muchinguri openly shot down the suggestion and declared that it was an open secret that "we, as indigenous farmers have failed". She said that "we" should be pragmatic and not lie "to ourselves" that there were enough conservancies to share among the people.
    She said it was those greedy politicians who already have farms elsewhere who wanted to grab conservancies. Muchinguri was responding to questions at an all stakeholders meeting held at South Eastern College in Chiredzi recently. The meeting was meant to find a lasting solution to address human and wildlife conflict in Save Valley. Muchinguri said there are only few conservancies in Save Valley and politicians and leaders should not give a wrong impression that all people should benefit.
    She also said those who want to acquire the conservancies have other farms which they failed to manage but are now targeting the conservancies with the view to kill animals and if Government allowed that then precious business will not survive. She encouraged A2 farmers to start their own conservancies and Government would support them with wild animals.
    "We did the land reform program and it is not working, people are not farming and many grabbed farms and farm houses but they failed to plant crops. We tried, even me but I failed even after putting a lot of money. Let`s talk development, people are saying conservancies, where are the conservancies, if we take them we will give two or four people, there are no conservancies. "
    "People are giving the wrong impression that there are many conservancies, there are no conservancies. Some are shouting until they get hoarse as they demand conservancies but these are the same people who were given farms where they are failing to grow crops. Let us be realistic; you are failing to grow crops but you are now targeting conservancies. In a country where there are 14million people how many people will benefit, we will not tolerate that. Others were given plantations in Manicaland but they cut down the trees and nothing is now left," said Muchinguri.
    Muchinguri was responding to Mahofa who had said in her presentation that people in Masvingo are not happy that conservancies are still in the hands of whites. She called the Minister of Environment to facilitate for the acquisition of the conservancies so that black people can get the chance to run them.
    "People who are here are not happy because all of these conservancies are in the hands of white people. Thousands of kilometers of hectares are in the hands of white people and black people are not benefitting.
    "There are repeated calls that can we not have black people who can run these conservancies. Although there are Campfires I am appealing to you Minister, we want our people to run these conservancies," said Mahofa.
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