via Govt not happy with safari operators: President | The Herald June 22, 2015
PRESIDENT Mugabe says the Government is unhappy with the state of affairs in private safaris and conservancies where owners — who are largely of European origin — make secret arrangements with visitors who kill wild animals without the knowledge and consent of the State.
What they pocket from the killings has also remained a mystery.
The country boasts of a number of conservancies from Matabeleland, Mashonaland West to the Lowveld in Masvingo Province.
Addressing delegates during a dinner to raise funds to capacitate the African Union Foundation during the just ended African Union Summit, the AU chairman dislodged the notion that all white farmers had been kicked out of farms to pave way for indigenous farmers, a lie constantly propagated by the Western media.
“This does not mean that every farmer lost his land, No. We still have quite a number of them. They still grow in the estates tea, coffee and plantations. They are there of course in the forests,” said President Mugabe.
“They have what they call safaris and we do not know what is happening in the safaris because they make arrangements with visitors from outside to come and shoot this animal, that animal but the animal shot must be listed and approved by us. We do not know what payments that they are given. We therefore are unhappy about the safaris.”
President Mugabe said the country has kept the forests where even Americans and Europeans are running safaris.
“We have kept the forests, quite a number of good forests with a lot of animals and it is in these forests that we have these safaris. The Americans are there although they have sanctions on us. We have not said we do not want American people in our country. It does not pay for us to say we do not want them. What for? Individuals must not be made to suffer,” he said.
President Mugabe said on the contrary, the Washington administration does not want any business with Zimbabwe.
“But with them (Americans), they say we would not have any business with you. We do not want you to visit our country. I have never said I want to be an American. So there it is,” he said to applause from the delegates evidently enchanted by the veteran African statesman.
The AU chair said Africans by nature do not have such evil tendencies.
“We, the African people have not got the evil tendencies to dislike others, No.” He implored the European community living in Africa to be human enough as exemplified by the indigenous people across the continent.
“Those who had taken land from our chiefs are saying pay for it yet they never paid for it. Those who were in such positions (commercial white farmers) must be generous and say come this is a business we can take some of you as partners but they want to keep to themselves all the time,” said President Mugabe.
He added: “But still you see them clinging to themselves. If a school has white children in the majority, if African children go there, they leave that school and start another. Open up! Live like everybody else. Be human and humanitarian.”