Zimbabwe Indigenization Efforts Disrupt Save Valley Conservancy Hunts


Published: July - 2012

If you are heading to the Save Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe, you may have heard about some recent trouble there. Two returning subscribers contacted me in mid-June about their experiences. One wished to remain anonymous and did not want to name his operator for fear he might suffer repercussions. The other was Richard Smith, who hunted the Savuli block through John Hunt of Georgia Safaris (210-630-0138). The problems were apparently caused by locals moving into that hunting block to squat, subsistence farm and poach. Smith says they also burned down one of the chalets at a hunting camp. Although the perpetrator was arrested, hunts there were disrupted. Smith says other Save operators in the area helped by taking him and the other clients hunting on their blocks wherever there was quota available, but some of the replacement hunting areas required as much as two hours of travel from camp. Smith also says his leopard hunt was affected by the number of lions in the area he hunted. The disturbance was related to the Zimbabwe government's indigenization program. That program requires that businesses (at least large businesses) in Zimbabwe be at least 51 percent owned by an indigenous person. Continuing subscribers will recall I reported in November 2009 that the Zimbabwe government was forcing partners on various conservancy owners, and that the Save Conservancy was in an on-going dialogue with the government about this. (See Article 2348 in our database.) After the latest incident, I contacted Alistair Pole, who is representing the Save Valley Conservancy in these matters, to get an update. Here's what he said in an email at press time: "The Save Valley Conservancy is in on-going discussions with the Government of Zimbabwe on the implementation of an indigenization plan for the conservancy. It should be stated that all parties involved are in agreement that: · While there are a number of properties within the Conservancy that are owned by fully indigenous bodies, such as a Rural District Council and a Government Parastatal (ARDA), and many properties currently have indigenous shareholders, a long-term, sustainable solution to the Save Valley Conservancy will require some additional........(continued)
 
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