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Zimbabwe to relocate villagers for transfrontier park

10 January 2006

Chilojo Cliffs in Gonarezhou National Park.

ZIMBABWEAN authorities will relocate 700 families from villages in the southern districts of Chiredzi to make way for a transfrontier game reserve, an official said yesterday.

"The 700 families will be relocated if all goes well at the end of this month," national parks spokesperson Edward Mbewe told reporters.

He said the villages fell under the proposed Gaza-Kruger- Gonarezhou Transfrontier Park (sic - Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park) on Zimbabwe's borders with Mozambique and South Africa.

"We had hoped to relocate them last month but we could not because of other logistical constraints," Mbewe said.

"The families are residing in a corridor where we would want the animals to freely move."

Mbewe said the parks authorities planned to declare the area a protected zone reserved for endangered rhinoceros species.

The transfrontier park launched four years ago will merge the Kruger National Park in South Africa, Gaza (sic - Limpopo National Park) in Mozambique and Gonarezhouin Zimbabwe to allow free movement of animals and tourists.

Mbewe did not give the specific date when the families would be moved. - Independent

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