A mob of about 150 people took over Lake Chivero Recreational Park, the Kumba Shiri resort, and several other sites around the lake, forbidding guests and employees from leaving.
This is one of a string of land grabs across the country committed by semi-legal mobs taking advantage of the Indigenisation Act, a law passed by President Robert Mugabe in which 51 percent of any foreign holding transfers into Zimbabwean hands. SW Radio Africa wryly noted that the mob promised several resorts to “ministers and other top officials”.
Things seem to have calmed down now. The Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee, a group set up by the new coalition government to stop this sort of thing, intervened and got the mob to leave. Mugabe was forced to make a coalition government after gross mismanagement of the country. The Indigenisation Actwas widely seen as a populist move to divert attention from the economy by targeting foreigners and white Zimbabweans.
Ironically, the Zimbabwe’s tourism minister is currently in Madrid attending the travel expo Fitur, where he’s pushing the country as a tourist destination. Zimbabwe has a lot to offer the adventure traveler: safaris, wildlife, traditional societies, ancient monuments, and beautiful countryside. If the government could offer some stability the tourist industry could blossom.
[Photo of Lake Chivero courtesy user Gyron via Wikimedia Commons]