Save Conservancy issue not new


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The indigenisation of the Save Conservancy which hit the headlines last month with some European governments threatening to cut aid to Zimbabwe is now new. It was broached eight years ago.

According to Wikileaks, the issue of the Save Conservancy was first raised by United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Joseph Sullivan with Environment and Tourism Minister Francis Nhema because he was afraid that two American citizens might lose their properties.

The Save Valley Conservancy was a privately-owned wildlife reserve of one million acres comprising 22 properties that shared a common boundary fence.

Sullivan was worried about the future of Hammond Ranch in the Save Conservancy and Twin Springs in Kwekwe which were owned by American Citizens.

Nhema said he was aware of negotiations between Save Conservancy and a local indigenous company, Traditions, to run the conservancy as a partnership. He was waiting for Save Conservancy to present a final proposal.

He was not familiar with the Twin Springs property but stated that at 7000 plus hectares he saw no problem with the owners coming to an agreement with local groups along the lines of Save Conservancy’s ongoing negotiations.

Nhema told the ambassador about the need for:

  • indigenous peoples to benefit from the conservancies,
  • existing owners to partner with local groups to run the conservancies, and
  • a permanent solution which locks in conservation as the sole use for the land.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 04HARARE683, CONSERVING CONSERVANCIES IN ZIMBABWE

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

04HARARE683

2004-04-22 06:27

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.

 

220627Z Apr 04

UNCLAS HARARE 000683

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

 

STATE FOR AF/S

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER

USDOC FOR AMANDA HILLIGAS

TREASURY FOR OREN WYCHE-SHAW

PASS USTR FLORIZELLE LISER

STATE PASS USAID FOR MARJORIE COPSON

STATE PASS USDOI/FWS FOR KARL STROHMEYER

 

E. O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: SENV EAID BTIO EINV ECON PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: CONSERVING CONSERVANCIES IN ZIMBABWE

 

Ref: Harare 655

 

1.(SBU) Summary: On 21 APR 2004, Amb. Sullivan

discussed land reform and conservancies with GOZ Minister

of Environment and Tourism Francis Nhema. Minister Nhema

suggested private agreements between current owners and

indigenous groups could be allowed as long as indigenous

peoples benefited from, and were included as partners in,

the operation of the conservancies. End Summary.

 

 

2.(SBU) Ambassador Sullivan raised the potential

seizure of land from Hammond Ranch of the Save

Conservancy and Twin Springs in the Kwekwe district, both

owned by American citizens.

 

 

3. (SBU) Nhema was aware of negotiations between

Save Conservancy and a local indigenous company,

Traditions, to run the conservancy as a partnership

(ref). He mentioned that he was waiting for Save

Conservancy to present a final proposal.

 

4.(SBU) Nhema was not familiar with the Twin Springs

property but stated that at 7000 plus hectares he saw no

problem with the owners coming to an agreement with local

groups along the lines of Save Conservancy’s ongoing

negotiations. Nhema said he objected to very small

conservancies with only 1000 hectares.

 

5.(SBU) Nhema emphasized the need for 1) indigenous

peoples to benefit from the conservancies, 2) existing

owners to partner with local groups to run the

conservancies, and 3) a permanent solution which locks in

conservation as the sole use for the land.

 

d.

 

6.(SBU) Comment: Although local sources suggest Nhema

regularly exploits his official position for commercial

gain, he appeared interested in preserving conservancies

and wildlife. He stated that some of the conservancies

taken over were not properly registered with the GOZ.

Both American-owned properties in question are properly

registered and possess Zimbabwe Investment Center

certificates.

 

7.(SBU) Biographic Note: Nhema received an MBA from

the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and

worked at the Zimbabwean Embassy in Washington DC as well

as the Zimbabwean UN Mission in New York. He would like

to visit Chicago because of various movie images he has

seen- although he mentioned no current plans for travel.

 

Sullivan

n

(2 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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