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Cablegate: Temporary Reprieve for Zimbabwe's Largest

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

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