The continuing allegations led Parks and Wildlife to call for a suspension of hunting permits last month for the purpose of verifying the authenticity of all permits, according to the director general. It seems a number of hunts have been conducted using forged hunting permits. Many interpreted the suspension as a closure of hunting in Zimbabwe, which was incorrect. In a telephone conversation with Director Mtsambiwa, he told me that hunting was open and would continue in Zimbabwe. The purpose of the suspension was to have hunters verify the legality of their permits with authorities at any Parks office. For traveling hunters he suggested they contact Mr. Twanda Chipere, the Business Development Manager responsible for hunting at Parks and Wildlife. He would be able to verify that they are hunting with a legal operator in an area that is open to hunting. For the 2010 season, Parks & Wildlife will issue newly designed permits that supposedly will be more difficult to forge.
Although the suspension was only through December 31, traveling hunters going to Zimbabwe this season are urged to verify that their operators are registered Zimbabwean operators. I also urge you to check if they are members of the Zimbabwean Safari Operators Association (ZOAZ) through Sally Bown or........(continued)