Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Zanu PF officials in wildlife bribes scam

Zanu PF officials in wildlife bribes scam

Sunday, 09 September 2012 13:18
HARARE – Willy Pabst, the Germany industrialist and hunting enthusiast who 
has been leading a campaign to save wildlife sanctuary, the Save Valley 
Conservancy, from occupation by Zanu PF officials has made sensational 
claims that party stalwarts have been asking for bribes from owners of the 
targeted conservancies.

Pabst has been leading a public campaign through a series of newspaper 
adverts to save the conservancies that he himself invested in way back in 

He told the Daily News on Sunday that a clique of “greedy” Zanu PF officials 
have openly approached owners of wildlife ranches demanding bribes ranging 
from $10 000 to $100 000 in exchange for permits issued to them by the 
National Parks and Wildlife.

“There were 25 people who were given hunting permits each for about $5 500. 
They have been coming to us asking for money in exchange for the permits,” 
said Pabst in a telephone interview from his Cape Town base.

“They have been asking for money from my colleagues and business partners.”

The country’s wildlife authority says the move to parcel out wildlife 
ranches to Zanu PF officials is necessary to empower blacks in this 
multi-million dollar sector.

The takeover of the conservancies has set Zanu PF cabinet ministers against 
each other.

Tourism minister Walter Mzembi is fighting in the conservationists’ corner 
while minister of Environment Francis Nhema is pushing for the accommodation 
of black people in the sector.

Mzembi argues the takeovers are tarnishing Zimbabwe’s image ahead of the 
United Nations World Tourism Organisation general assembly to be co-hosted 
with Zambia next year.

Nhema, on the other hand, says the indigenisation of the white dominated 
wildlife sector takes precedence over the tourism indaba.

According to Pabst, indigenisation is being used as a front for looting by 
President Robert Mugabe’s cronies.

“This is not indigenisation. This is a group of 25 people who are determined 
to enrich themselves by destroying wildlife at the expense of the 
communities that are benefitting from Save Valley projects,” said Pabst.

He claimed the Zanu PF officials who were recently issued with leases and 
hunting quotas openly declared that they are not interested in the wildlife 
business and are willing to step aside if a bribe with the right figures 
comes their way.

Asked how the businessmen responded to the alleged requests for bribes, 
Pabst said, “We could not entertain such mafia style operations. It is 
blackmail and we cannot run businesses based on blackmail. This has nothing 
to do with indigenisation.”

Pabst claims in his newspaper adverts that thousands of livelihoods are 
threatened in the 2 600 square kilometre nature reserve and surrounding 

“When humans behave like animals, we destroy not only each other but 
generations to come,” the adverts read, adding that politicians “want to 
destroy agreements and policies that have made Save the world leader in 
conservation management.”

One of the alleged bribe seekers, former deputy minister and Zanu PF top 
notch Shuvai Mahofa, described the accusations as “rubbish”. “That is 
rubbish. It is stupid and ndezvavo izvozvo izvo (they can go to hell),” she 
said when approached for comment by the Daily News on Sunday.

“I entered into a contract with Terry and we agreed that we are going to 
work together and we have been working together very well for a year now but 
this Pabst then came and influenced Terry not to work with me and that is 
when the problem started,” said Mahofa.

“We agreed to put money into the business and that is why I have taken these 
whites to court. I am suing them for breach of contract. Hunting costs me 
$84 000 and that is the money that I want Terry to contribute. “I do not 
care what they say because I am now in business and making money. We have 
freed Zimbabwe from these Germans and Italians,” said Mahofa.

Save Valley Conservancy is a habitat for elephant, zebra, giraffe, as well 
as the nation’s second largest surviving population of endangered black 

The area also supports an array of African antelope and most species of 
birds and small animals.

Several nearby communities also benefit in the form of employment and 
conservation efforts.

The German government recently gave $30 million to the Kavango-Zambezi 
Transfrontier Conservation Area to help regional countries boost wildlife 
conservation efforts and curb poaching but Zimbabwe was excluded from the 
fund because of its failure to protect wildlife.


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