Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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EU warns Zimbabwe

EU warns Zimbabwe

August 31, 2012 in News, Politics
THE European Union this week sternly warned Zimbabwe it could find itself 
under renewed economic sanctions over the controversial granting of Save 
Wildlife Conservancy hunting permits to Zanu PF officials and cronies, 
barely a month after they were suspended.Report by Herbert Moyo

The EU in July lifted development aid restrictions but Zimbabwe, which is 
only due to benefit from direct economic assistance in the EU’s 2014-2020 
plan for African countries, could lose out if authorities do not reverse the 
Save Conservancy grab. In an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent this 
week EU ambassador to Harare Aldo Dell’Ariccia warned of the possibility of 
restoring the sanctions although he expected “reason to prevail” after 
meeting Tourism minister Walter Mzembi, who is expected to table the issue 
of reversing the hunting permits before cabinet.

“You will recall that the EU suspended the effect of the restrictive 
measures because of progress achieved by the GNU towards democratising 
Zimbabwe and respecting bilateral investments, but anytime those measures 
could be re-imposed if progress is reversed,” Dell’Ariccia said. A fortnight 
ago Dell’Ariccia raised the possibility of boycotting the United Nations 
World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) conference to be co-hosted by Zimbabwe 
and Zambia next August saying the parcelling out of the conservancy amounted 
to a violation of bilateral investment protection agreements Zimbabwe 
entered into with EU countries.

The vice-chairman of the Save Valley Conservancy, German national Wilfried 
Pabst said there could be “immediate tourism sanctions and investment 
warnings followed by a scaling down of EU and American governments’ support 
for the economic rescue of Zimbabwe”, in response to questions emailed to 
him. “How can foreign governments spend their tax money on a country like 
Zimbabwe if the government allows a wholesale slaughter in high profile 
tourism destinations like the Save Valley Conservancy?” asked Pabst.

The conservancy was founded in 1991 and is co-owned by groups of foreign 
whites and black Zimbabweans who control hunting and manage it to protect 
the endangered wildlife that includes elephants, rhinos and buffalo. Since 
its establishment, the conservancy has been run in partnership with the 
Agriculture and Rural Development Authority.

Pabst said Zanu PF officials like former Gutu South MP Shuvai Mahofa simply 
wanted to make quick profits as shown by a letter she allegedly sent to 
owners of Savuli Ranch in the conservancy on August 8, 2011 asking them — 
according to Pabst — to “please deposit at least US$20 000 from this year’s 
hunting in my account before Saturday August 13 2011 for my up-keep. Account 
details are Shuvai Mahofa, Barclays Bank, Chiredzi Branch, Account Number 25 

“They have little economic background and don’t understand the principle of 
philanthropic investment so they think that where a successful businessman 
like me is involved, there must be money,” said Pabst. “Well, there isn’t 
and most of us would be very happy if we can just break even.”

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Tuesday condemned events in the Save 
Valley Conservancy saying “they send the wrong message at a time when we are 
preparing to host the UNWTO.” Tsvangirai met Mzembi and Environment and 
Natural Resources minister Francis Nhema to discuss the issue.


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