Cablegate: Conserving Conservancies in Zimbabwe
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
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.
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
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.