$11,9m boost for Zimparks

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GOVERNMENT has pledged to provide an initial capital injection of equivalent to US$11,9 million to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) to strengthen its operations, particularly its anti-poaching activities, a Cabinet Minister has said.

The authority is mandated with protecting and managing Zimbabwe’s wildlife population.

Although it has taken huge strides in restricting animal poaching, the parks authority is not adequately equipped, materially and in manpower, to eradicate
poaching in the country.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the financial support was in pursuit of a turnaround strategy for the parks

“Cabinet resolved that an initial investment equivalent to US$11,9 million be injected towards the acquisition of modern anti-poaching equipment, support
equipment, operational vehicles, support for national parks management activities and maintenance of infrastructure,” she said.

Minister Mutsvangwa said the reforms would also aim to address issues of poor corporate governance, operational inefficiencies and sub-optimal utilisation of
resources under Zimparks.

“Cabinet accordingly resolved that the commercial division of Zimparks be hived off to a special purpose vehicle in order to unlock value in the commercial
assets currently owned by Zimparks through joint venture arrangements with private sector partners.”

Zimparks, she said, would also pursue a debt restructuring to allow it more time to pay off obligations owed to various service providers.

The parks authority’s debt currently stands at RTGS$21,5 million.

“Necessary legislative review (should also) be undertaken so as to inter-alia strengthen the management and operations of Zimparks as well as to ensure the
balance between the need to guarantee wildlife protection and to provide for other competing land uses,” she said. — New Ziana

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