Government thinks Save is a cash cow


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The manager of the Save Valley Conservancy, the largest private conservancy in Zimbabwe, went to lengths to dispel the government’s impression that Save Valley was a cash cow eight years ago.

Clive Stockil was addressing a group of investors led by Chief Fortune Charumbira.

He disclosed that the conservancy had made losses in recent years and had loans from organisations like the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation.

He also emphasised that any adverse action against Save Valley would result in strong international condemnation.

Stockil was trying to fend off indigenisation of Save Valley but he and 23 others who owned the conservancy had realised that taking a more confrontational approach would only encourage government hardliners to pounce.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 04HARARE1729, TEMPORARY REPRIEVE FOR ZIMBABWE’S LARGEST

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

04HARARE1729

2004-10-18 07:23

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HARARE 001729

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

 

STATE FOR AF/S

USDOC FOR AMANDA HILLIGAS

TREASURY FOR OREN WYCHE-SHAW

PASS USTR FLORIZELLE LISER

STATE PASS USAID FOR MARJORIE COPSON

STATE PASS USDOI/FWS FOR RICHARD RUGGIERO

 

E. O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: SENV EAID BTIO EINV ECON PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: TEMPORARY REPRIEVE FOR ZIMBABWE’S LARGEST

CONSERVANCY

 

1. (SBU) Summary: Clive Stockil, director of Save Valley

Conservancy (Zimbabwe’s largest private wildlife

reserve), told EconOff on October 8 that he has GOZ

assurances of no action on the conservancy until after

parliamentary elections and a subsequent cabinet

reshuffle. End Summary

 

2. (SBU) About a month ago, Stockil organized a

presentation for a group of investors that the GOZ wants

to share in Save Valley ownership led by Masvingo Chief

Fortune Charumbira to explain Save Valley’s

profitability, governance, and international linkages.

 

3. (SBU) Through his presentation, Stockil attempted to

dispel the GOZ’s impression that Save Valley is a cash

cow. He disclosed financial records indicating losses in

recent years. He sought to refute the GOZ’s belief that

anyone could run the conservancy by detailing the

intricate governing structure and myriad of wildlife

issues a conservancy manager must consider. Stockil

sought to emphasize Save Valley’s international

importance by revealing the details of loans from the

International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the high-

level of international conservation interest in Save

Valley. This, he hoped, impressed upon the GOZ that any

adverse action against Save Valley would result in strong

international condemnation.

 

4 (SBU) In a separate meeting afterwards, Environment

Minister Frances Nhema assured Stockil that the GOZ will

take no action on Save Valley until after the March 2005

parliamentary elections and a subsequent cabinet

reshuffle. Stockil could then reassess his negotiating

position once a new team was in place, Nhema said.

 

5. (SBU) Comment: Stockil continues his negotiation dance

to try to save the nature conservancy he co-owns with

twenty-three others. As a result of Minister Nhema’s

assurances, Save Valley investors will continue to

negotiate with the Masvingo investors, but agree to

nothing for now. They hope a new cabinet will no longer

support shared ownership with Charumbira’s Masvingo

investors. Save’s owners have concluded that taking a

more confrontational approach at this time would only

encourage GOZ hardliners to pounce. End Comment.

 

Weisenfeld

 

(3 VIEWS)

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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