Farmers wrangle over elephant royalties

BULAWAYO - A farmer from Nyamandlovu has taken three colleagues to the Bulawayo civil court over a row on apportioning proceeds from a wildlife sale from their farm.

Naison Ndlovu claims that Edward Mufandaedza, Francis Sibanda and Esnath Moyo are not entitled to any wildlife royalties at Groot Schuur Farm when the case was heard before magistrate Medylene Muchina.

Ndlovu said the three had treated him unfairly ever since they started working together, which prompted  the quartet  to subdivide the farm into four.

The court heard that in 2009, the farmers shot two elephants and when Ndhlovu  asked them how much they sold them for, they lied that they had sold it for $6 000  when the average value is $12 000.

Ndlovu said he was only given $300 as his share of the proceeds.

He said the three even went to the extent of chasing him away from the farm when they discovered that there was timber on Esnath’s quarter.

“We applied for permission from the Forestry Commission which was granted and sold the timber in Bulawayo but when the timber business proved profitable, Esnath demanded we should subdivide the farm since working as a group was creating problems,” Ndlovu told the court.

He charged that his colleagues colluded with Esnath and she immediately chased him away from the lucrative timber business forcing him to lodge a complaint with the Department of Parks and Wildlife who resolved the issue and ordered that no one should hunt in each other’s area.

After the fracas, Ndlovu teamed up with Waine Vanderburg who bought a number of elephants and helped him get more clients resulting in the three envious partners claiming money from Vanderburg.

Ndlovu said  his subdivision holds an estimated 6 000 animals, had authorised hunts to raise money for servicing water pumps and other resources essential for the survival of the wildlife on the farm.

But the trio’s lawyer, Edroth Chizengera argued that the farm is owned by four people not Nelson alone so the proceeds have to be shared among the other parties.

“From 2005 proceeds would be shared equally but since 2012 Naison was getting all the benefits.

The four had a meeting with the National Parks and Wildlife management where it was agreed that since Naison was benefiting solely, he should compensate the other partners in full or stop benefiting at all until others have benefited to the same level and Naison has not done so,” she said.

Chizengera  further  argued that Vanderburg owed  $10 000 of which Ndlovu demanded and  was paid  $4 650 leaving a balance of $5 350 which the other three are entitled to  and not him.

Magistrate Muchina postponed the matter to January 13.

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