Save Conservancy indigenisation goes ahead: Kasukuwere

via Govt: No going back on Save Conservancy 26/04/2014 by Agencies from NewZimbabwe

THE government has decided to “indigenize” the Save Conservancy, widely regarded as the world’s largest private nature preserve, two years after the multi-million dollar wildlife sanctuary – in which many E.U. nationals have business interests – was invaded by top ruling party officials.

“Indigenisation is going ahead,” Saviour Kasukuwere, minister for environment, water and climate, confirmed in a phone interview with Anadolu Agency.

“The ongoing discussions are basically about the inclusion of the rural communities who live in the areas surrounding the conservancy,” he said.

Save Conservancy is a major attraction for tourists and professional hunters, especially from western countries, who pay thousands of dollars for the chance to see – or hunt – the wild animals living there.

Located in the arid Masvingo province, the preserve covers an area of some 3400 square kilometers.

The conservancy was founded in 1991. It is co-owned by groups of foreign and local whites, as well as black Zimbabweans who regulate the hunting and protect endangered wildlife such as elephants, rhinos and buffalo.

Since its establishment, the conservancy has been managed in partnership with Zimbabwe’s state-run Agriculture and Rural Development Authority.

“We want to develop the conservancies into first-world facilities that the whole world can enjoy,” said Minister Kasukuwere.

He added that, apart from economically empowering black Zimbabweans, involving them in the park’s operations would also boost wildlife conservation efforts, as they would have an incentive to protect animals rather than hunt them.

The minister stressed that only those properties owned by white Zimbabweans would be affected by the indigenisation policy, which seeks to grant black Zimbabweans a minimum 51-percent stake in the conservancy.

“Foreign-owned properties will not be affected as they are protected under investment laws, but those [properties] of local whites will be,” he said.

Property held by foreigners is protected from appropriation by the state under the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (BIPPAs) signed by Zimbabwe and various E.U. governments.

White Zimbabweans already lost their commercial farms when President Robert Mugabe’s government embarked on its controversial land reform program in 2000 – ostensibly aimed at redressing colonial-era injustices by giving land to disadvantaged black Zimbabweans.

The government, however, has been criticized locally and internationally for appropriating land and giving it to party leaders and loyalists.

As a result, the E.U. imposed “restrictive measures” on Zimbabwe, banned Mugabe and ruling party officials from travelling to E.U. member states, froze their assets, and banned European firms from doing business with companies linked to the Zimbabwean government.


Wilfried Pabst, a German investor who is also vice-chairman of the conservancy, confirmed that managers of the nature preserve were currently engaged in negotiations with Kasukuwere over application of the indigenization policy.

“About 35 percent of the conservancy is foreign-owned; this will not be affected by the indigenization,” Pabst told AA by phone from his base in South Africa. “Another 34 percent will not be affected, because it’s already in indigenous hands.”

But he bemoaned the slow pace of the talks, saying they were negatively impacting business – especially that of white Zimbabweans, whose properties are the subject of the negotiations.

“The pace of talks is far too slow. As a result, we’ve been forced to cancel safari tours until the issue is resolved,” Pabst said.

“Foreign-owned businesses are protected,” the German investor explained.

“But we’re talking about safari operators who are white Zimbabweans who are being forced to turn away foreign visitors who want to hunt animals because they cannot be given hunting licenses until the issue is resolved.”

He noted that Germany and the E.U. were both helping capacitate the country’s national parks with a view to bolstering conservation efforts.

Commenting on the issue, E.U. Ambassador to Zimbabwe Aldo Del Ariccia was terse: “The Save Conservancy issue is a very long story, still far from being solved,” he told AA.

There has been an ongoing standoff between the government and property owners in the conservancy since 2012, when certain senior officials of the ruling Zanu PF party invaded the preserve, took over some properties, and poached endangered species.

At the time, Mugabe condemned the invasion, describing the intruding party officials as “greedy” – but they nevertheless remain on the property to this day.

These top party and government officials had included then Higher Education Minister Stan Mudenge (who died last year) and former deputy minister Shuvai Mahofa, who managed to grab property in what was termed the “Wild life-based Land Reform.”

Mudenge was given a lease on the 16,507-hectare Senuko 2 Ranch; Mahofa the 5526-hectare Savuli Ranch. Former Masvingo governor Titus Maluleke, meanwhile, got the 3388-hectare Hammond Ranch.

MPs Ronald Ndava and Ailess Baloyi, for their part, got the 11,736-hectare Bedford Ranch and the 6886-hectare Humani Ranch, respectively.

Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi, who had been a vocal critic of the 2012 invasion of Save Conservancy by Zanu PF officials, declined to comment on the issue.



  • comment-avatar
    Chidumbu 9 years ago

    And what other than destroy it will you useless thieves do. You can only steal from the whites, what have you created that is a success? everything you touch turns to destroyed. Your greed and stupidity know no bounds.

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    Panda moyo 9 years ago

    This minister is a time bomb.i v always wished to know what he has over the president,bcoz i know that the president cant hav willingly given madzibaba saviya a cabinet post.i wonder what he my opinion of all the mnsters he is the least smart though he sees hmself as the brightest.sir u ar no longer the minister of indigenisation,look after the environment period.

  • comment-avatar
    Mlimo 9 years ago

    Chop burn steal loot and kill and destroy that’s all these terrorists know!

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    Stingray 9 years ago

    Just a few days after promising to honour property rights . This present government is disjointed and at the end of the day we blame sanctions

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    Mseyamwa 9 years ago

    So indigenization will not affect foreigners. What form of indigenization is it that expropriates property from locals and protects the foreigners? What value does that create fo advancement of locals if one replaces one with another?

    • comment-avatar

      I am asking the same question! It disgusts me! They never stop do they. White Zimbabweans are Zimbo’s too. What does the constitution have to say on all this not that I have faith in the constitution. It was supposed to be farm land and the greed and pillage now knows no bounds.

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    Tiger Shona 9 years ago

    There it is plain to see; that Kasukuwere is a racist and a thief. No wonder Zimbabwe is in serious trouble. With fools like this, it is to be expected.

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    It is so disheartening to see another assault on the interests of decent, hard working, loyal and long suffering people persecuted because of their colour.
    The irony is that the fate being suffered by white people is mirrored in the state of the nation as a whole.
    The more the thieves grab the less there is for the majority of people who only want to make an honest living.
    There is no sense in what is happening. They still dwell on trying to make a point about “winning” the war of liberation. Harness the goodwill of the remaining whites. They are not a threat.
    Instead of worrying about Save, focus on repairing a nation so broken and dispirited that it is an embarrassment. Look to the good and start building a partnership.
    The liberators may have won the land battle but have lost the war of development and the hearts of everyone worldwide.
    Dress up your actions anyway you like but they have effectively destroyed the country. It resembles a long rotten elephant carcass with the blue flies finding one or two bits of stale sinew to suck on. Even the vultures have nothing left.
    These people are reviled and wear no clothes. But there are none so blind as those who will not see.
    Shame on all of you. You are unpatriotic parasites, actually irrelevant to the future of Zimbabwe. Your people are ashamed.

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    roving ambassador. 9 years ago

    Thats what you get when you have gangsters in Cabinet.
    Zimbabweans are educated!!!
    Can someone provide me truth of that?

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    mike paterson 9 years ago

    Kasukuwere is about as low as shark poo that lies on the bottom of the ocean.

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    Mena Bona 9 years ago

    Kasukuwere is a rat intent on stealing someone else’s cheese. Talk about using an illigitimate rotten government to steal what the ZANU PF runts never worked a day for! These rats will kill every animal in the Save within a few years then blame whites for it. When the fork will these oxygen thieves ever create anything positive themselves instead of stealing someone else’s achievements.

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    Gomogranny 9 years ago

    Again we see that these people in power (politicians, they are called) just CANNOT stand to see anything that was created with white Zimbabweans left functioning.(unless it’s a parliament building they need to puff themselves up inside) Their greed and callow spite is just truly abhorrent. And they cannot appreciate that areas where wildlife still thrives are rare – any place on this earth. These precious areas are only here through concerted efforts of a groups of dedicated Zimbabweans of the calibre of Clive Stockil and Roger Whittall. And these disgusting cretins called politicians give themselves the right to take and destroy under the guise “We must make it a world class facility”. What they mean is “I need a big fat slice of the lucrative wildlife trade” Lying, useless thieves!

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    DubboZimbo 9 years ago

    They will sell/kill/poach all the wild life until as per usual ZANU style, the place is a write off, then blame the whites/weather/sanctions and move onto fresh pickings. Sorry boys, your almost at the bottom of the barrel, then what?

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      What chance does Zimbabwe stand with people like kasukuwere. It is time all people, white, black, mixed races, shona and Ndebele stood up and said enough.

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    @Chidumbu WELL SAID!

  • comment-avatar

    The Constitution is perhaps to serve the interests of all those in POSITIONS !!! that is why the famous saying “ZIMBABWE IS MINE”!!!

  • comment-avatar

    at the word “..develop..” I stopped reading. The only thing ZPF has been able develop in 34 years is warts. The stupidity of these people knows no bounds.

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    Little Dorrit 9 years ago

    Thought it was already a world class facility – due to the INIATIAVE of Stockil and others! Stockil was instrumental in getting CAMPFIRE going in Zimbabwe, by the way, which was acknowledged as the world pioneer for community based wildlife conservation. What has the Monster ever achieved? Nothing nothing nothing – useless ignoramus . Amazing – a foreigner has better rights than a white Zimbabwean – smacks of ethnic cleansing – a clear case for ICC

  • comment-avatar
    Little Dorrit 9 years ago

    Sorry, MINISTER