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    Saturday, 10 September 2016

    Save Valley settlers cause havoc, intercept charcoal trucks



    MORRIS BISHI
    CHIREDZI BUREAU

    CHIREDZ
    I – Illegal settlers are causing havoc in Save Valley where they are felling down trees for purposes of making charcoal.
    The settlers are also poaching animals for meat and there are growing calls for Government to urgently intervene.
    Last week a truckload of charcoal headed for Rusape was intercepted in Masapasi Ranch and Environmental Management Authority (EMA) district officer Peter Mugodhi confirmed the arrest but referred all questions to the Forestry Commission.
    Operations and liason officer at Masapasi Ranch, Livison Phikelele is not happy with the way authorities are handling matters in Save Valley.
    He said the vehicle was only fined $200 and disappeared with the charcoal and poached meat.
    Phikelele said government is paying little attention to stop illegal settlers in Save Valley even though most of the properties there fall under BIPPA agreements.
    "I am very disturbed by the response by EMA and the Forestry Commission.
    "We apprehended a truck full of charcoal and a few bags full of meat. We handed over the matter to the two responsible authorities but we hear that the vehicle was fined and disappeared with the 144 bags of charcoal.
    The charcoal and hunting is being done by illegal settlers who even know that they are not allowed by law to engage in those activities.
    The Minister of Environment, Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri confirmed that Masapasi is under Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement but Government authorities are not prepared to respect it.
    There is immense destruction in Save Valley and we are bound to lose this treasure of illegal activities continue unabated," said Phikelele.
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