Politics & General News

Top Diplomats, Army Officers invade Zimbabwe Wildlife Park

Two serving ambassadors, a retired diplomat and a high-ranking army officer are among numerous individuals who have been controversially settled on a private Midlands conservancy.The conservancy is located in an area which President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his wife, respectively, once represented in parliament.Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement ministry officials are being blamed for the contested occupation of the conservancy.Named diplomats admitted in interviews to getting pieces of land on the 63 000 hectare conservancy which is home to a range of wild animals that include the black rhino, elephants, kudus, eland, impala, bushbuck and waterbucks.Buffaloes, hippopotamuses, zebras, wild dogs, leopards, cheetahs, brown and spotted hyenas and lions are also among the residents of the conservancy, which is managed as 10 separate game ranges.Other people who have been settled on the Midlands Black Rhino Conservancy (MBRC) —situated in the Chirumanzu-Zibagwe constituency—include senior bureaucrats and members of the ruling Zanu PF party, it was established.The MBRC has one of the highest populations of sables in Zimbabwe and conducts leopard ecological surveys, according to its website.The mainly rural constituency was hastily set up ahead of the 2008 elections and won by President Mnangagwa, who had been beaten back-to-back in urban Kwekwe in 2000 and 2005 by the Movement for Democratic Change’s Blessing Chebundo.Mnangagwa gave up the constituency when he was appointed co-vice president in 2014.

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