21 October 2005
HARARE: Zimbabwe is to remove 700 families who settled illegally near Gonarezhou National Park, the country's second largest game reserve, to make way for a planned transfrontier regional park.
The official Herald newspaper said yesterday the families were among 5 000 people "irregularly settled" on farms throughout southern Masvingo province, including hundreds of families living on wildlife conservancies.
The families moved into the area about five years ago at the height of the takeover of whiteowned farms by the government.
Gonarezhou National Park, situated in southeastern Zimbabwe, is expected to merge soon with Limpopo National Park in Mozambique and South Africa's Kruger National Park to form a large transfrontier park in a bid to attract more foreign tourists.
Gonarezhou, perched on Zimbabwe's southeast border with Mozambique, is home to elephants, lions, giraffes, zebras, buffaloes and the nyala antelope.-Reuters
Cape Times - 21 October 2005Reuters