HomeLocal NewsMinister urges ‘sober’ approach to indigenisation

Minister urges ‘sober’ approach to indigenisation


Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Walter Mzembi says the decision by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to ban elephant trophy imports from Zimbabwe required Zimbabwe to assess its empowerment policies.


Mzembi, who urged a soft stance approach to the parcelling of wildlife conservancies to indigenous blacks, said the issue needed “very sober introspection from all those involved” for the benefit of the country.

His approach contradicts Environment, Water and Climate minister Saviour Kasukuwere, who in his capacity as the wildlife authority is pushing to indigenise the sector especially the controversial Save Valley Conservancy, which was allocated to top Zanu PF officials last year.

This could have led to the USFWS ban on elephant trophies, according to officials.

But, Mzembi believes instead of being combative, Kasukuwere needed to adopt an all-inclusive approach to develop the industry.

He said the ban gave Zimbabwe an opportunity to assess its empowerment policies and see whether they were beneficial to the country or powerful individuals.

In an interview, Mzembi said: “There is need for self-introspection. Tourism is a peace industry. We want to manage wildlife for posterity. Every sector should work together with others. No ministry can do everything by it self unilaterally.

“This ban did not happen when (previous Environment minister Francis) Nhema was at the ministry. So one would want to ask: Is there something we are now not doing right? While we need to de-racialise the wildlife industry, it must be done methodically. No need not to antagonise anyone.

We must learn, understand the industry first. I support empowerment of individuals, but not the same old faces.”

Mzembi added there was need to maintain zero tolerance on poaching across the country’s parks’ estates.

“Most of the offer letters for conservancies in Masvingo were nullified, and so everything must start afresh. As much as we know, no one holds a valid offer letter in that province no matter their station in society,” Mzembi said.

“If they bulldoze their way, we will stand up to them. No matter what clothing the minister puts on, in this $66 million safari industry we will stand up against them, against unilateralism.”

Last year, top Zanu PF officials were reportedly awarded offer letters for Save Valley Conservancy at the expense of the communities living alongside the largest man-made wildlife sanctuary in the country.

Mzembi said: “The Zanu PF politburo cancelled all the offer letters. If anyone still pushes their way, it is illegal. We believe in collective responsibility, so no one holds a valid offer letter vis-à-vis Save Valley Conservancy. We must come up with a business model that promotes development – not to destroy. Tourism is sensitive, let us keep it that way.

“The issue was discussed in Cabinet and in the politburo. An inter-ministerial committee was formed and we went to Save Valley. We are very mindful of unilateral decisions in Masvingo, and we will scuttle that. It doesn’t matter what clothing the minister is putting on, we do not allow that.”

Although Kasukuwere was not available for comment yesterday, last week he blasted the US ban saying he continue to push to de-racialise the wildlife industry.

“It’s completely unreasonable for communities that have been surviving on Campfire projects as the hunting proceeds benefited communities living alongside the wildlife resource,” Kasukuwere said.

Safari Club International (SCI) – a not-for-profit international organisation that promotes sustainable utilisation of wildlife resource through sport hunting – has piled pressure on the USFWS to review its ban on elephant trophies from Zimbabwe.

In response to the USFWS’ decision last week to unilaterally ban the importation of sport-hunted elephants from Zimbabwe and Tanzania, SCI president Craig Kauffman wrote USFWS director Dan Ashe requesting that they immediately rescind the decision or risk losing elephants forever.

Kauffman urged the 55 000-strong members to oppose the ban by declaring May 8, as SCI congressional lobby day on Capitol Hill so that the hunter voices could be heard.

He said SCI was also looking at every legal and legislative venue to force the USFWS to rescind its decision to ban sport-hunted elephant imports from Zimbabwe and Tanzania.

Sport hunting employs an estimated 3 700 people and supports over 88 000 families in the country.

Recent Posts

Stories you will enjoy

Recommended reading


  1. all sport hunting should be banned,.why arrest a poacher who also want to survive and welcome a guy who will shoot a lion .or elephant just because he is paying.tourism should be about viewing animals not shooting them.these animals will be extinct in ten years then what.all those wanting conservancies should actually breed and safeguard all animals in their property and get their money from people who want to see these animals.ban sport shooting and lets be like the Noah project of kariba when people sacrificed their lives to save animals the ones we are shooting for sport now.pafungei.

    • i dont know much about this but I think we also need to make sure we have animals that can be sustained by our resources, otherwise they will destroy the same environment they have to survive from (e.g elephants). So to some extent I think sport hunting should be allowed so that the wildlife industry wont self destruct.

  2. The Masvingo political factionalism is being taken too far. Muzembi is a double agent, with one leg in the Mavhaire-Mujuru faction and another in the sellout camp where he is paid huge amounts of money by the former white Save Valley Conservancy operators. Whilst it is appreciated that Muzembi’s and Kasukuwere’s Ministries are complementary in the tourism domain, Muzembi should give his counterpart space to take independent, rational decisions that are not influenced by factionalism. Muzembi should also stop lying and misinforming the nation that offer letters were withdrawn. Tibvire apo Walter. Usakanganwe kuti wakabva neku MDC. No wonder you are sidingwith the whites.

  3. lets leave politics out of wildlife,look what we did to the landreform,mining attempted banking and now wildlife.Please we are tired of such dreadful policies that have only benefited a few who have infiltrated into every province in the name of ideginisation no no no,lets rethink our strategies macomrades otherwise we are destroying our nation for good.

  4. The above comment was posted by Kasukuwere himself! Viva cde Mzembi, u bring sanity and a human touch to the revolutionary party.

    • If the revolutionary party had at least ten Mzembi’s within its midst, this party would be on course to transform the waning fortunes of this beleaguered country.

  5. How on earth would someone think that ill-willed polices can make the way for our country? Mzembi seems to know what he’s doing unlike those other monsters who only stand there to impose their own barbaric and hampering regulative measures. For whose good are those suffocating blunders?

    We certainly need to see what’s practical and refrain from further sinking the country into it’s downfall as it struggles to provide those much needed conditions for economic revival and soundness…We need to be atleast realistic both to ourselves as well as what we’re aiming for the country.

    For more patriotic insights please join our first Zimbabwean social platform, http://www.zimyo.com. There we’re busy establishing a single and youthful voice for our needs and the future of our country.

    Big Dhara

  6. @charuvek. Mzembi was appointed minister by Gushungo and if you are not happy with Gushungo’s choice of ministers, take him head on because before he appoints anyone, cio will search on the person’s background. Olivia Muchena, Patrick Chinamasa, Geffrey Chidyausiku etc came from uanc and others from zapu including Gushungo himself. Looks like you the only one whose is pure zpf although when it was formed you were not there in Highfields at the late Nkala’s house. Mzembi has raised an important point and indigenisation is not cast in concrete but should be flexible. Govt must avoid the condom approach, ie one size fits all and look at each industry separately. Gono has also made a similar call. Zimbabwe is for all and not a few individuals. Indigenisation must benefit all Zimbabweans.

    • Mugabe’s ministers, please give us a break. pano hapasiripo pekurwira hondo dzenyu pano.

  7. For the benefit of the country and the people we need ministers like Mzembi.
    Indigenisation policy was made by people who wanted to benefit from what they did not work for. As long as Zanu pf Government is in power no light at the end of the tunnel.

    • We need sober minded guys like Mzembi. Leading people is not about being a radical. Kasukuwere needs to tone down on indegenization. Remember he is the same guy who was at war with Gono on indeginasation of banks. We have so many indeginous banks wana FBC, Trust., Metbank, ZABG..but just look at the chaos that is reigning there. We need to keep those 4 were there is sanity at least.

      Same with wildlife lets think about us as a nation not a few guys wakapfuma kare nemusangano. I remember names of those heavy weights in Masvingo for the consevancy. Let us think of the nonetiesfor a change. Kuti Muzembi kuti answer

  8. ______________________________________
    #Irrigation water reticulation engineers,Consultancy, designs ,boreholes,

    #RAINGUN SPRINKLERS !!overhead irrigation, drip irrigation,

    #pump experts- installation, repairs, trolleys (portable),

    #pivots, pipeline survey and installation, garden irrigation,

    #booster pumps,maintenance,surface irrigation,

    #tanks and tank stands.

    Thinking Long term & Reducing Costs .
    # 0715415931; 0773 528 045

  9. Thank you Mr Mzembi for seeing the light, I hope you’re joining the likes of Jonathan Moyo and mines minister Chidhakwa in pointing out the truth for this country to move forward. Kasukuwere made a lot of disturbing noises in the ministry of Indegenisation sending Investors scurrying away with their money and now he wants to destroy the Wildlife sector. How can you empower somebody who is already stinking rich like all these ministers who have allocated themselves the Save Conservancies. Aren’t you ashamed of yourselves?

  10. this does not need a helicopter`s view or solomonic wisdom to understand that in every ministry that kasukuwere presides, he leaves a trail of destruction this is exemplified in the former ministry he was, he theatened to take over companies after Zanu pf`s election victory, now he wants to do the same thing in the wildlife industry. No wonder why he was always at loggerheads with DR Gono concerning his stance on the banking industry.

  11. Please ndibvumireiwo kutuka zisukuwere, ringafunga sei kudya nevamwe iro rine zidzoro nezidumbu rakakura kudaro. Musashore language bez sukuwere rinoziva chaizvo chaizvo zvomene kuti sei ndaritukira pa platform ino

  12. Ukaona uchikonana navamwe vako, there is something terribly wrong. Making news for all the wrong reasons. Zvanzi the majority of beneficiaries are from faction x. And for that reason we will oppose it. Muzembi is singing for his supper. Muregererei. Those whites and foreigners are paying him handsomely. Mukati pwe, we will start mentioning names and amounts.

    • Charuveki, what’s stopping you from giving the names? Whether you like it or not, Mzembi is making a lot of sense, irrespective of whatever faction he belongs to. Give us the names of those whom you say are paying him. Anyone can make allegations like you have done.

  13. So Tanzania, who are also included in the ban, are on an “indigenisation” policy?

    Engineer Mzembi needs to be careful. People might misread (or correctly read?) his utterances.

  14. Government must stop Tyson before he ruins us beyond repair. His combative stance towards foreigners is doing this country irreparable harm. But I understand where Tyson is coming from. His primitive instinct to grab anything from anyone knows no bounds. This is the same guy who grabbed part of Mazoe Citrus Estates(Cornucopia) and its crop drying plant along Bindura road. He also grabbed pieces of property in Vhumba. Obviouly he has his eye on the Save Conservancy as well. Very primitive indeed.

Comments are closed.