THE FOLLOWING POST by AH member ngwenyasekuru WAS DELETED BY MISTAKE...
Originally Posted by ngwenyasekuruMake no mistake, this report from the US Embassy in Harare must be taken very seriously as it contains solid facts.
We would like to thank Sally Bown, head representative of the Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association and Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe for naming some of these Professional Hunters of ill repute involved in Illegal hunting and poaching operations in Zimbabwe.
We are shocked that this information supplied by Sally Bown was not published earlier!
Charlton McCallum Safaris was very much involved in these numerous illegal poaching/ hunting activities. We were shocked to hear that CM Safaris was not taken down during these illegal hunts? We have countless individuals on the ground who would be willing to give additional evidence against CM Safaris and their associates Headman Sibanda, Evans Makanza ( all involved with Illegal invasions in the Gwayi conservancies ) if need be.
We are requesting an immediate statement direct from Charlton McCallum Safaris and the other Professional Hunters involved as to why these illegal activities were carried out. We are also waiting on a statement from Sally Bown as to why these illegal poachers, Professional Hunters were not publicly revealed??
What is shocking is that CM Safaris is a member of the Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association and SOAZ. We all want to hear from the ZPHGA representatives on why this illegal poaching/ hunting has been swept under the carpet?
This is just the beginning and I am sure that the hunting fraternity is waiting on a statement from Sally Bown of the ZPHGA. lacey act violations ??
CIO chief among ZANU PF officials linked to illegal hunting in Zimbabwe
CIO chief among ZANU PF officials linked to illegal hunting in Zim | SW Radio Africa
Zimbabwe head of the notorious Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), and other key ZANU PF officials, have been linked to years of illegal hunting in the country conservancies, which is said to have been a key source of revenue for the party.
CIO Director Happyton Bonyongwe was named in a confidential diplomatic cable, created in 2008 by then US Ambassador James McGee, who warned that hunting has long been a source of ill-gotten revenue for members of the ZANU PF elite, and given the ongoing resource grab, it is not surprising that new hunting schemes have developed to supply the elites with forex.
The cable, released by the online whistleblower WikiLeaks, claimed that the government was indiscriminately issuing hunting licences in the country national parks, with a devastating impact on Zimbabwe protected wildlife species. At the time the illicit parcelling out of hunting licences was linked to ZANU PF's plans to secure as much of a grip on resources as possible before it faced the MDC in elections.
A small group of hunters and safari operators were allegedly consistently involved in the illegal hunting practices. The diplomatic cable named professional hunters like Guy Whitall, Tim Schultz of African Dream Safaris, Headman Sibanda and Wayne Grant of Nyala Safaris, Evans Makanza, Alan Shearing, Buzz Charlton and James Macullam of Charlton Macullum Safaris, A.J. Van Heerden of Shashe Safaris, Barry Van Heerden of Big Game Safaris, and Lawrence Boha.
According to the US embassy, numerous conservationists had suggested that the Van Heerden brothers were involved in suspicious hunting and land deals with the CIO's Bonyongwe.
McGee warned in the cable that, this ongoing struggle over greed, ill-gotten forex, and natural resource management is just one more result of the continued political impasse in Zimbabwe.
The cable was a warning of things to come and illegal hunting practices have since been normalised through the ZANU PF led indigenisation campaign. National Parks in August this year issued hunting permits to 25 so-called indigenous farmers who were given land in the wildlife-rich Save Valley Conservancy in the Lowveld. National Parks director general Vitalis Chadenga, said this was part of the government wildlife based land reform exercise, saying beneficiaries have been allocated 25-year land leases in conservancies throughout Masvingo province.
Included in the list of beneficiaries are top ZANU PF officials and loyalists, such as Masvingo Governor Titus Maluleke, former Gutu South legislator Shuvai Mahofa and the late Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Stan Mudenge.
The Masvingo Governor and other key MPs have since last year been spearheading a ZANU PF led campaign of indigenization in the province, dubbed the Masvingo Initiative? with the intention of grabbing land. Former governor Josiah Hungwe, former MP Enock Porusingazi, army boss Engelbert Rugeje, and former MP and war vet Shuvai Mahofa, were last year also fingered by whistleblower website WikiLeaks as being part of the Masvingo land grab.
The Save Valley Conservancy has called the handover of the new hunting licenses a criminal act that has nothing to do with genuine indigenisation efforts. Johnny Rodrigues, the head of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF), told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that the licences need to be revoked.
Actually, we believe that hunting needs to be suspended for three years to do a proper audit and to put some controls in place. Otherwise, we are heading towards doom, Rodrigues warned.
He added that a senior government official is believed to have quietly stepped in to stop the ongoing takeover of the conservancies, so we will see what will happen in the next few weeks.