CABINET says it has reviewed Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) performance and has approved its turnaround strategy proposed by Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube.
The turnaround strategy seeks among other things address operational inefficiencies and poor governance at the parastatal which has generally been weighed down legacy debts and lack of funding for capitalisation.
According to a decision matrix statement following its 23rd meeting, Cabinet said the proposed ZimParks turnaround strategy principally seeks to address the prevailing state of poor corporate governance, operational ineffectiveness and the sub-optimal utilisation of the resources under ZimParks.
Cabinet said it has made a raft measures to set the turnaround strategy on course and these include availing funds for modern anti-poaching equipment that include vehicles, setting up a special purpose vehicle to unlock value in Zimparks commercial assets and restructuring the institution’s other debts.
Below are the resolutions that Cabinet has made:
a) that the Commercial Division of ZimParks be hived off to a Special Purpose Vehicle in order to unlock the value in the commercial assets currently owned by ZimParks through joint venture arrangements with private sector partners;
b) that an initial capital 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;
c) that the RTGS$21.5 million debt owed by ZimParks be restructured so as to allow the Authority more time to pay off the debt;
d) that the necessary legislative review 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; and
e) that the governance structures of the Authority be strengthened in accordance with the provisions of the Public Entities and Corporate Governance Act.