US embassy cable - 00HARARE6126

DEPUTY ENVIRONMENT AND TOURISM MINISTER BRIEFS AMBASSADOR ON PLANS TO PROTECT WILDLIFE AND RESOLVE CONSERVANCY LAND OCCUPATIONS

Identifier: 00HARARE6126
Wikileaks: View 00HARARE6126 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2000-10-31 17:18:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV PHUM SENV PINR ZI Land Reform
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

311718Z Oct 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6251

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                  ------------------98FCBD  311729Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7488
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 006126 
 
SIPDIS 
 
USDOC FOR DHENKE-ROGERS 
LONDON FOR CGURNEY 
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS 
PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD - DWELLER, AND AFR/SA - CPALMA, 
NNEWMAN 
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER 
 
PASS USTR - ROSA WHITAKER 
PASS DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR FOR THE FISH AND WILDLIFE 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  06126  01 OF 02  311720Z 
SERVICE 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/31/10 
TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, SENV, PINR, ZI, Land Reform 
SUBJECT: DEPUTY ENVIRONMENT AND TOURISM MINISTER BRIEFS 
AMBASSADOR ON PLANS TO PROTECT WILDLIFE AND RESOLVE 
CONSERVANCY LAND OCCUPATIONS 
 
 
CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD FOR REASONS 1.5 
(B) AND (D). 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY: EDWARD CHINDORI-CHININGA, DEPUTY 
MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT AND TOURISM AND ZANU-PF MEMBER 
OF PARLIAMENT, PAID A CALL ON AMBASSADOR MCDONALD ON 
OCTOBER 30 TO INFORM HIM OF HIS MINISTRY'S PLANS TO 
IMPROVE PROTECTION OF WILDLIFE, RESOLVE THE OCCUPATIONS 
OF CONSERVANCY LANDS, AND REACH AGREEMENT WITH 
NEIGHBORING STATES ON THE JOINT MANAGEMENT OF NATIONAL 
PARKS THAT CROSS BORDERS.  CHINDORI-CHININGA 
ACKNOWLEDGED THAT HIS MINISTRY HAS BEEN UNABLE TO 
PREVENT POACHING OF WILDLIFE ON OCCUPIED LANDS.  HE 
CLAIMED HIS OFFICE HAS DEVELOPED A PLAN FOR RESOLVING 
OCCUPATIONS OF LANDS DESIGNATED AS NATURE CONSERVANCIES, 
BUT POLITICAL CORRUPTION IS AFFECTING THIS PROCESS. 
TALKS BETWEEN ZIMBABWE AND ITS NEIGHBORS FOR JOINT 
MANAGEMENT OF PARK LANDS THAT SHARE COMMON BORDERS IS 
MOVING FORWARD, AND A TREATY IS READY TO BE PRESENTED TO 
PARLIAMENT FOR THE JOINT MANAGEMENT OF A NATIONAL PARK 
AREA THAT ZIMBABWE SHARES WITH MOZAMBIQUE AND SOUTH 
AFRICA.  FINALLY, PRESIDENT MUGABE IS SO OBSESSED WITH 
THE LAND QUESTION, THAT NONE OF THESE ISSUES ARE 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  06126  01 OF 02  311720Z 
IMPORTANT TO HIM, ACCORDING TO THE DEPUTY MINISTER.  END 
SUMMARY 
 
--------------------------------------------- 
A MINISTRY UNABLE TO PREVENT RAMPANT POACHING 
--------------------------------------------- 
 
2. (C) CHINDORI-CHININGA ADMITTED THAT THERE HAS BEEN 
POACHING ACROSS ZIMBABWE, ON COMMERCIAL FARMS AS WELL AS 
NATURE CONSERVANCIES THAT HAVE BEEN OCCUPIED BY WAR 
VETERANS AND LANDLESS PEOPLE SINCE FEBRUARY.  THE DEPUTY 
MINISTER'S ASSERTION CONFIRMS THE NUMEROUS PRESS REPORTS 
AND COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION UPDATES THAT HAVE DETAILED 
THIS PROBLEM.  HE STATED THAT HIS MINISTRY'S SCOUTS, WHO 
HAVE TRADITIONALLY CONTROLLED POACHING OF WILDLIFE IN 
ZIMBABWE, HAVE BEEN PREVENTED FROM DOING THIS THROUGH 
INTIMIDATION, THREAT OF VIOLENCE, AND IN A FEW CASES, 
PHYSICAL ASSAULT BY WAR VETERANS.  A JOINT COMMAND OF 
THE ZIMBABWE MILITARY AND POLICE ARE NOW BEING USED TO 
ATTEMPT TO REGAIN CONTROL OF THE POACHING SITUATION.  HE 
BLAMED THE PROBLEM ON A LACK OF COMMUNICATION, ARISING 
FROM THE FACT THAT HIS MINISTRY HAD NOT MET WITH 
OCCUPIERS TO ESTABLISH THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH HIS 
SCOUTS COULD SAFELY PATROL OCCUPIED LANDS TO 
PREVENT/CONTROL POACHING. 
 
------------------------------------------ 
A SOLUTION FOR THE OCCUPIED CONSERVANCIES? 
------------------------------------------ 
 
3. (C) THE ENVIRONMENTAL AND TOURISM MINISTRY IS WORKING 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HARARE  06126  01 OF 02  311720Z 
ON A PLAN FOR RESOLVING THE OCCUPATION OF LANDS 
DESIGNATED AS NATURE CONSERVANCIES TO WHICH, HE CLAIMS, 
THE CABINET HAS AGREED.  THIS PLAN INVOLVES SECURING THE 
AGREEMENT OF PRIVATE CONSERVANCY LANDOWNERS TO ALLOW THE 
RESIDENTS OF INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES THAT BORDER THESE 
CONSERVANCIES TO BUY INTO THE OPERATION OF THESE AREAS, 
SO THEY MAY BENEFIT DIRECTLY FROM THE TOURISM TRADE THEY 
GENERATE.  THE DETAILS OF SUCH A PLAN, INCLUDING 
PERCENTAGE OF OWNERSHIP, FINANCING, AND THE JOINT 
MANAGEMENT OF THESE CONSERVANCIES, WITH THEIR PRIVATELY 
OWNED LAND, GOVERNMENT OWNED LAND, AND INDIGENOUS 
COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION, WOULD BE ADDRESSED IN A 
WORKSHOP THAT THE MINISTRY IS PLANNING.  HE SAID HE HAD 
TWO PROBLEMS: WHERE TO MOVE THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE OCCUPIED 
THESE LANDS; AND HOW TO FEND OFF THE POLITICIANS WHO 
WILL SEEK A CUT IN SUCH DEALS.  THE AMBASSADOR ASKED THE 
DEPUTY MINISTER SPECIFICALLY ABOUT THE CASE OF THE SAVE 
CONSERVANCY AND RUMORS THAT JOSIAH HUNGWE, THE GOVERNOR 
OF THE MASVINGO PROVINCE, WHERE THIS CONSERVANCY IS 
LOCATED, IS INSISTING ON GETTING A PIECE OF THE ACTION. 
CHINDORI-CHININGA CONFIRMED THAT HE HAS ALSO HEARD SUCH 
RUMORS ABOUT HUNGWE, AND THAT THIS COULD PROVE A 
HINDRANCE TO RESOLVING THE SAVE CONSERVANCY SITUATION. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
TRANSFRONTIER MANAGEMENT OF PARKS CLOSE TO REALITY 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6252 
 
PAGE 01        HARARE  06126  02 OF 02  311721Z 
ACTION AF-00 
 
INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   AMAD-00  ACQ-00   CIAE-00  COME-00 
      INL-00   DINT-00  DODE-00  DOEE-00  DOTE-00  SRPP-00  DS-00 
      EB-00    EUR-00   E-00     FAAE-00  FBIE-00  VC-00    H-01 
      TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    JUSE-00  LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00 
      AC-01    NSAE-00  NSCE-00  NSF-01   OES-01   OIC-02   OMB-01 
      OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00 
      SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00  EPAE-00  IIP-00   PMB-00 
      DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /012W 
                  ------------------98FCCA  311729Z /38 
P 311718Z OCT 00 
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7489 
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY 
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 
 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 006126 
 
SIPDIS 
 
USDOC FOR DHENKE-ROGERS 
LONDON FOR CGURNEY 
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS 
PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD - DWELLER, AND AFR/SA - CPALMA, 
NNEWMAN 
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER 
 
PASS USTR - ROSA WHITAKER 
PASS DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR FOR THE FISH AND WILDLIFE 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  06126  02 OF 02  311721Z 
SERVICE 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/31/10 
TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, SENV, PINR, ZI 
SUBJECT: DEPUTY ENVIRONMENT AND TOURISM MINISTER BRIEFS 
AMBASSADOR ON PLANS TO PROTECT WILDLIFE AND RESOLVE 
CONSERVANCY LAND OCCUPATIONS 
 
4. (C) THE DEPUTY MINISTER STATED THAT ZIMBABWE, 
MOZAMBIQUE, AND SOUTH AFRICA HAVE REACHED AGREEMENT ON A 
PLAN TO MANAGE JOINTLY THE AREA THAT CONSISTS OF THE 
GONAREZHOU NATIONAL PARK IN ZIMBABWE, THE COUTADO 16 
NATIONAL PARK IN MOZAMBIQUE, AND THE KRUGER NATIONAL 
PARK IN SOUTH AFRICA.  THIS AGREEMENT WOULD SOON BE 
PRESENTED TO THE ZIMBABWEAN PARLIAMENT FOR APPROVAL.  HE 
ALSO REPORTED THERE IS PROGRESS TOWARDS AGREEMENTS 
BETWEEN/AMONG ZIMBABWE, BOTSWANA, NAMIBIA, ZAMBIA, AND 
MOZAMBIQUE FOR THE JOINT MANAGEMENT OF OTHER NATIONAL 
PARKS THAT SHARE BOUNDARIES. 
 
----------------------------- 
NONE OF THIS INTERESTS MUGABE 
----------------------------- 
 
5. (C) THE DEPUTY MINISTER WAS ASKED IF, GIVEN THE 
IMPORTANCE OF TOURISM AS A FOREIGN EXCHANGE EARNER FOR 
ZIMBABWE, AND THE PAST HISTORY OF ZIMBABWE HAVING A 
REPUTATION AS A COUNTRY THAT PROTECTED ITS WILDLIFE AND 
NATURAL AREAS, PRESIDENT MUGABE WAS INTERESTED IN THESE 
ISSUES.  WITHOUT SAYING SO EXPLICITLY, CHINDORI-CHININGA 
IMPLIED THAT MUGABE NOW HAS NO REAL INTEREST IN THESE 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  06126  02 OF 02  311721Z 
ISSUES.  THE DEPUTY MINISTER EXPLAINED THAT HE RECENTLY 
MET WITH MUGABE TO DISCUSS THESE ASPECTS OF HIS 
PORTFOLIO, AND WHILE MUGABE WOULD PAY ATTENTION AS HE 
SPOKE, WHEN IT CAME TIME FOR MUGABE TO TALK, HIS 
COMMENTS INVARIABLY RETURNED TO THE ISSUE OF LAND FOR 
THE LANDLESS. 
 
------------------------------- 
LAND CASES OF AMERICAN CITIZENS 
------------------------------- 
 
6. (C) THE AMBASSADOR TOOK THE OPPORTUNITY OF THIS 
MEETING TO RAISE THE SPECIFIC CASES OF AMERICAN CITIZENS 
RESIDENT IN ZIMBABWE WHO HAVE HAD THEIR LANDS LISTED FOR 
COMPULSORY ACQUISITION BY THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE 
(GOZ).  IT WAS POINTED OUT TO THE DEPUTY MINISTER THAT 
ALL OF THESE CASES INVOLVE LANDS THAT WERE PURCHASED BY 
THE AMERICAN CITIZENS IN ORDER TO PURSUE NATURE 
CONSERVATION AND TOURISM.  IT WAS MADE CLEAR TO 
CHINDORI-CHININGA THAT IF THESE LANDS ARE EVENTUALLY 
FORCIBLY ACQUIRED BY THE GOZ WITHOUT APPROPRIATE 
COMPENSATION, IT WOULD HAVE A REAL ADVERSE AFFECT ON 
U.S.-ZIMBABWE RELATIONS.  THE DEPUTY MINISTER PROMISED 
HE WOULD LOOK INTO THESE CASES. 
 
7. (C) COMMENT: WHILE THE DEPUTY MININSTER'S COMMENTS 
WERE GENERALLY IN A POSITIVE VEIN REGARDING STEPS THAT 
THE GOZ SHOULD CLEARLY TAKE ON THE ISSUES DISCUSSED, THE 
ACTIONS THAT THE GOZ TAKES WILL BE WHAT COUNT.  WHILE HE 
IS AN UP-AND-COMING ZANU-PF POLITICIAN WITH POLITICAL 
ACUMEN, THE DEPUTY MINISTER ALSO HAS UNCLEAN HANDS. 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HARARE  06126  02 OF 02  311721Z 
POST HAS HEARD CREDIBLE ACCOUNTS THAT CHINDORI-CHININGA 
WAS INVOLVED IN PLANNING AND EXECUTING THE POLITICAL 
VIOLENCE IN HIS HOME AREA IN THE PERIOD LEADING UP TO 
THE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS.  HE THUS SHARES BLAME FOR 
THE MINDLESS POACHING OF WILDLIFE, CUTTING OF TREES, AND 
SETTING OF FIRES THAT HAS OCCURRED ON ZIMBABWE'S PRIVATE 
NATURE CONSERVANCIES, RANCHES, AND COMMERCIAL FARMS. 
END COMMENT. 
 
MCDONALD 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
> 

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