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‘Ghost’ of Cecil The Lion Haunting Zanu PF Officals

FILE: Protestors gather outside Dr. Walter James Palmer's dental office in Bloomington, Minn., Wednesday, July 29, 2015. Palmer reportedly paid $50,000 to track and kill Cecil, a black-maned lion, just outside Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

The killing of Zimbabwe’s famous lion, Cecil, is now knawing onto the country’s political fabric with fresh calls for the nation to carry out a land audit to get rid of some senior ruling party officials, who are occupying several farms in animal conservancies.

Former Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, says the Save Conservancy and several others, which were invaded by some Zanu PF officials, including current ministers, are degenerating due to alleged over-exploitation of wildlife through uncontrolled trophy hunting.

Bhasikiti told VOA Studio 7 the conservancies can only be saved if a proper land audit is conducted and some current occupants, who own multiple farms, are kicked out for the benefit of local communities.

“These people are now double dipping.They have A2 farms and (animal) conservancies. So, they are depriving communities of some benefits.”

He said President Robert Mugabe is aware of what is going on as he once voiced concern over this issue and ordered, through a cabinet declaration, all people with multiple farms to leave the conservancies.

Bhasikiti mentioned some of the top Zanu PF leaders, who allegedly invaded Save Conservancy and others in some parts of Matabeleland redarded as prime hunting areas.

Zanu PF Central Committee member, David Ndlovu, agreed, noting that there is need to address this issue, which has in the past angered President Robert Mugabe.