TOURISM NEWS from the Eastern African and Indian Ocean region
Reports, Travel Stories and Opinions
By Prof. Dr. Wolfgang H. Thome
End of year (Fourth) edition December 2010
YELLOW FEVER OUTBREAK REPORTED FROM NORTHERN UGANDA
It was learned overnight that over the festive season cases of Yellow Fever were reported from remote parts of Northern Uganda. The Minister of Health, in conjunction with the World Health Organization and the CDC have already dispatched a large team of doctors and nurses to the area, to contain the spread of the mosquito born disease and vaccinate the affected population.
As the outbreak area is sufficiently far away from the country’s national parks and other tourism attractions, there is no immediate danger to tourists already in country or expected to visit in coming days, but it is very important that visitors do have a valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate, for their own protection as well as for being asked at entry points to produce a current document. Once the vaccination has been administered, it normally lasts for up to 10 years before requiring a new ‘shot’. For intending visitors to the country, please refer to the website of the Uganda Tourist Board / Tourism Uganda for updated information via www.visituganda.com.
The last such Yellow Fever outbreak dates back some 40 years and was swiftly contained too inspite of more challenging logistical problems in those days. Only recently was an outbreak of plague reported in the country, also from distant areas of Northern Uganda, but that too was swiftly brought under control and has now been fully contained, with no new cases reported over the add on incubation period.
CHRISTMAS CAROLS AT THE SERENA
Christmas Eve was celebrated at the Kampala Serena Hotel with traditional carols, performed by one of the city’s most popular choirs, and the staff served that quintessential eggnog and mince pies, getting the hotel’s patrons into the right mood for the season to the sounds of universally known Christmas songs.
Elsewhere in the country the safari lodges and upcountry hotels reported largely ‘full house’ – as did incidentally the resorts at the coast – hosting visitors from overseas but also locals and in particular the expatriate community, most of whom had been streaming out of the city to take a short break. Unlike in many parts of Europe and North America, it was of course no white Christmas but we were thankfully also spared the icy temperatures which go along with it. It is this correspondent’s hope that you all enjoyed a peaceful Christmas season in the midst of family and friends and that the Christmas spirit prevailed over the ‘commercial’ aspects which have crept into the celebrations over the past decades.
And now with all due haste towards the New Year 2011 and another 12 months of weekly reports from the Eastern African and Indian Ocean region’s hospitality, aviation, tourism and conservation developments.
INTERCONTINENTAL TO MANAGE NEW ‘SHIMONI’ HOTEL
Indications have firmed up in recent weeks that Intercontinental Hotels will be managing the hotel which is due to be build on the ‘Shimoni’ land, controversially allocated to the owner of Kingdom Hotels – and in the process displacing a large primary school and teachers’ training college’ – before Kingdom then defaulted on their obligations and eventually disposed of the site to new owners.
It does appear that construction will now finally go underway under the new owners in 2011 – it was them in fact who put up the information about IHG on their company website – and when the 5star facility is ready it will be known as the InterContinental Hotel Kampala. Some good news finally that this long saga is coming to a good end after all.
JKIA GETTING TOO HOT FOR IVORY SMUGGLERS
Customs and security organs at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport showed that their vigilance over Christmas was as high as ever, when they arrested a woman, reportedly travelling on a Thai passport while in transit from Mozambique. Her baggage, routinely scanned and subjected to sniffer dog inspections while on the ground, was found to contain two elephant tusks and over 100 pieces of carved ivory like bungles and necklaces. She was identified as the owner of the luggage in the transit lounge and then arrested and will this week be produced in a magistrates court to be formally charged with the offence. If and when found guilty she can expect a lengthy prison sentence, hopefully stiff enough to deter smugglers of blood ivory and other animal products like rhino horns from other parts of Africa to stop flying via Nairobi, as chances of detection of their contraband cargo and baggage contents now becomes ever more likely.
Only two weeks ago was it reported here too that two Singaporeans of Chinese descent were arrested in Nairobi, who have since appeared in court and are also awaiting trial and lengthy prison sentences once found guilty. The conservation fraternity owes the Kenyan customs and security services a big thank you for their vigilance and growing record of detection of illicit shipments.
In a related development it was also learned that the Executive Director of the Kenya Wildlife Service Dr. Julius Kipng’etich got a special Christmas gift in form of a new 3 year contract, after doing good work on the job, generally considered as a ‘hot seat’ due to the magnitude of challenges going along with wildlife conservation and enforcement and the growing human / wildlife conflict due to burgeoning populations in particular around national parks and game reserves. Well done Julius and best of luck for your new term of office.
NEW ‘CONSERVATION’ FEES COMING INTO EFFECT ON JANUARY 01ST
The new park entry fees proposed by the Kenya Wildlife Service some time ago, arguably against strong opposition by large sections of the tourism sector including KATO (Kenya Association of Tour Operators), will come into effect in the new year and will be renamed into ‘conservation fees’, probably to make the new charges more palatable.
The ‘top parks’ like Amboseli and Nakuru will set foreign non resident visitors back by 75 US Dollars a day during the high season period, while during the low season (April – June and November – mid December) charges will be lower, as they will be during the shoulder seasons.
Resident foreigners too will have to pay more while citizens of Kenya and the Eastern African sister states will enjoy the ‘lowest’ entry fees, as is the case in Uganda too, while reports from Tanzania still speak of ‘problems’ when Kenyan and Ugandan citizens ask to be given citizen rates, especially non African passport holders it appears from a number of such reports.
A KWS source, asked not to be identified by name, is quoted as having said: ‘ conservation is an expensive undertaking and tourism attractions around the world cost big money to get into, like going into Disneyland or some of the European ‘safari parks’, so it is not unreasonable for us to charge higher fees. It should be appreciated that we are now only doing what lodges and resorts are doing all this time, we differentiate between low, mid and high season and when visitors come in the low season the charges reflect this. It is during those times of the year we want more visitors to come to our parks, to Kenya, just as the hotels and lodges want the same thing. I believe we are on the same wavelength and the extra income we project will help us with anti poaching, better patrols, better infrastructure and generally better services’.
The neighbouring countries of Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda however continue to charge the same tariff throughout the year, although it is understood that they are in contact with KWS and once sufficient data on the new fee structure have been collected and interpreted, they too might switch to a seasonal structure for their own park entrance fees. Watch this space.
POLICE STATION BURNS DOWN BUT SECURITY ASSURED
It was learned that over the Christmas holidays a police station some 50 KM from the main ‘stone town’ of Zanzibar burned to the ground, following an electrical malfunction within the premises. Prompt enquiries however showed that no one was hurt in the incident and police continued to patrol their area of operation without interruptions, supported by logistics from other stations further away. This was done to ensure that no mischievous elements could take advantage of a vacuum in law enforcement while the populations enjoyed the long holiday weekend.
Security around beach resorts, the airport and the famous ‘stone town’ had already been increased to ensure that visitors from abroad, but also locals were safe over the festive season, in particular as warnings against visits to Eastern African countries and Zanzibar persist amongst otherwise ‘friendly nations’. Thankfully for the tourism trade most potential visitors disregard such warnings and visit the safari parks and sunny beaches anyway, but in turn expect local law enforcement to do all they can to ensure their safety and security during their stay.
AIRSTRIP NEAR ‘KLEIN’S CAMP’ CLOSED BY TANZANIAN AUTHORITIES
A regular source from Arusha passed the information over the weekend that the airstrip serving ‘Klein’s Camp’ has been closed by the authorities. ‘There is more than meets the eye’ said the source in a phone conversation, adding ‘there were these issues with the manager of that camp being wanted by police when tusks had disappeared from a dead elephant found nearby, and then there are people in Tanzania who might even want to close that camp for being too near to the Kenyan border. The Bologonja border crossing as you know remains closed for commercial traffic between Kenya and Tanzania, and there are hardliners who would best like to put a big fence and throw away the keys’.
This part of the Serengeti is the ‘transit route’ for many of the wildebeest returning from their annual migration into Kenya’s Masai Mara and huge columns of animals can be seen annually when making their way back in to the Serengeti while moving South again to the low grass plains between Ngorongoro and Serengeti. The area is also earmarked as a transit corridor for a planned highway across the park, itself a hugely divisive and controversial project, which has brought the Tanzanian government and international organizations like UNESCO, WWF, AWF, IUCN, IFAW and others head to head with their pro and con arguments.
Said another Arusha source on demand of strict confidentiality: ‘some people in the security organs have tried to explain the closure is in the interest of national security, but we all know, that is a pure smoke screen for some ulterior motives and machinations behind the scenes. What national security issues trouble us along the common border with Kenya I wonder and are there not mechanisms to deal with such through the EAC headquarters? Many of my colleagues in the tourism sector are asking the same things but like with the highway question, raising such matters openly can land you in jail here in Tanzania. We suspect there is either a conflict of interest with some bigshots, or attempted extortion but the reasons being leaked to us are not holding water’.
Airlines regularly flying to the strip were not immediately ready to comment on the development, as one aviation source said: ‘this is a bit sensitive and we cannot openly argue with security organs, but we will make enquiries and see if this can be resolved amicably’. Watch this space for future updates as Tanzania self-inflicts yet more negative news on its tourism and conservation sector.
AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK BUFFALO KILLS VILLAGER
The need to fence of sections of the park, a project earmarked under the present joint venture between African Parks and the RDB – Tourism and Conservation, has been re-emphasized last weekend, when buffalos from inside the park strayed into neighbouring farms and killed one farmer while injuring at least another three.
It is understood from an RDB source that the stray animal was later on cornered by wardens and other security personnel and shot, to avoid more such tragedies amongst villagers. Neighbours of the park have in the past in an exemplary fashion cooperated with RDB towards conservation, but such incidents are bound to bring up questions again on compensation when crops are destroyed by marauding animal herds or people come to harm or are killed, as was the case this time.
No immediate comments were however available as to the time frame to fence the crucial sections of the park to protect the nearby villages.
AIR SEYCHELLES’ NEW TWIN OTTER ‘EN ROUTE’
Updated version for publication
Christmas eve saw ‘aviation Santa’s’ latest ‘gift’ for Air Seychelles being dispatched from the Twin Otter factory in Canada, when the very first state of the art, new generation DHC6-400 aircraft commenced a series of ferry flights with final destination of Mahe on 11th January 2011. This unique 13 day and 80 flight hours ‘adventure’ almost fell victim in Western Canada to the severe winter weather, which delayed the first take off by several hours, before finally leaving from the Victoria / BC airport to Churchill in central Canada. Equipped with extra fuel tanks, the ‘normal’ range of the Twin Otter was substantially boosted, a bonus for the operating crew of course. From central Canada the flight itinerary will then route via Frobisher Bay and on to the Akureyri field in Iceland, before reaching Aberdeen in Scotland and Altenheim in Germany.
Once these ‘legs’ are successfully completed, with all aircraft in-flight systems monitored very tightly, the onwards route will take the new aircraft to Greece, Egypt, Djibouti and Mombasa, before embarking on the last segment of the journey and ‘home’ to Mahe International Airport.
It was reportedly the first delivered ‘commercial’ aircraft of the new generation Twin Otter, besides the test aircraft, which earlier initial version was already an established workhorse for safari aviation in Eastern Africa and a reliable part of the HM fleet for decades, connecting the various islands on Air Seychelles’ domestic network. Therefore, though being a ‘small’ national airline in terms of number of aircraft and destinations, Air Seychelles nevertheless broke new ground and laid down the gauntlet to their competitors abroad and critics at home by boosting their domestic aircraft fleet, of course hugely important to carry passengers from the international airport to the outlying islands, in particular the very popular Praslin.
The aircraft has been painted in a distinct new ‘domestic’ livery reflecting the ‘Creole Spirit’, also of course the main slogan for the airline on international routes of course.
On arrival in Mahe the aircraft will be formally christened ‘Spirit of Curieuse’, following the airline’s tradition to name their fleet after the various islands of the archipelago and will then enter domestic service at the beginning of February 2011, joining up with a fleet of three other Twin Otters and one Short 360-300.
Communicated the airline’s Executive Chairman Capt. David Savy on the occasion to eTN: ‘The acquisition of a brand new DHC6-400 Twin Otter aircraft is testimony to our commitment to our [tourism] trade partners. This is a very significant investment and is in the region of SCR 56 million rupees at a time when the airline industry is cash strapped’.
Southern Sudan News
INDEPENDENCE ‘ANTE PORTAS’
The referendum for independence in the Southern Sudan is quite imminent now, and word from Juba – the Southern capital city – but also from places like Wau, Rumbek, Malakal, Yei, Yambio, Torit and a range of other towns is that Africa’s youngest country is in the making now, able and willing to escape a militant Islamic regime which has oppressed and enslaved the South for generations and subjected them to the full brutality of anarchic laws, whips and guns. Key figures in the SPLM led government, and many from the civil service, are back in their home areas for the festive season, where they are understood to be engaged in daily ‘sensitisation’ of the population ahead of the January 09th referendum day, and few are expected to return to their work stations before the crucial vote takes place. Anyone travelling to Juba therefore, hoping to see senior government officials, make sure the appointment is ‘locked’ and the individual will in fact be available.
In a related development, interest in sending expeditions and adventure tourists into the parks of the South Sudan has also substantially risen, as the many direct enquiries to this correspondent show, all of which are duly passed on to the Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism. Watch this space as the countdown towards the independence referendum is ticking.
AND, in this last edition of 2010 some more material, from ‘further down South’, courtesy of Gill Staden’s ‘The Livingstone Weekly’ – enjoy reading about a variety of challenges and achievements in conservation, which are clearly similar right across Africa. And not to be missed, something ‘bizarre’ from Zimbabwe for the end of the year …
From the Lusaka Times
American based Capital Corp Merchant Banking group has signed a US$15.4 million project with Zambian corporation Playland Limited to create the Cresta Mukuni Safari Lodge near the Victoria Falls.
The aim of the project is to build an internationally recognized 4-star Safari Lodge with modern facilities: amenities and conveniences which will cater for incentive groups from Europe and America with facilities that can also be used for local and regional markets in the European off-season.
Apart from hotel accommodations, the project would offer other timeshare facilities that will cater for both local and foreign clientele.
“The business concept of the project is strong, given the significant gap in the market for Safari and wilderness type high-end hotels in the Victoria Falls area where only 70 hotel rooms exist on the Zimbabwean side, and with limited conference facilities,” says Capital Corp Merchant.
In order to have a quick impact on the market and to enhance its position, Playland Limited has signed a management contract with Cresta Hospitality which is one of the biggest hospitality groups in southern Africa managing and operating 13 properties in Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Nigeria, to manage its property.
This will provide the development with the key personnel, marketing strategies, and implementation strategy needed to insure a smooth and efficient development.
Cresta Mukuni will be twinned with the famous Cresta Mowana Safari Lodge situated in the Botswana National Park, which has won major international awards.
I must say I have a bit of an issue with some of the facts in this story: namely: … in the Victoria Falls area where only 70 hotel rooms exist on the Zimbabwean side, and with limited conference facilities,
From Lusaka Times
Zambia: 700 farmers invade Lusaka National Park
The Lusaka National Park which is set to be opened as the countries 20th wildlife reserve settlement this February has been encroached by over 700 small holder farmers.
This came to light yesterday when Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources Minister Catherine Namugala accompanied by Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) Acting Director General Jacob Chulu made an on spot check of the park.
Ms. Namugala expressed sadness at the development noting that it would delay the opening of the park.
She said it was unfortunate that ZAWA officers were complacent and allowed people to encroach the park.
Ms. Namugala has since directed ZAWA to completely fence the park to avoid further encroachment.
And ZAWA Acting Director General Mr Chulu said his officers have expedited the fencing of the park and assured that it would be completed by the end of this month.
Mr. Chulu said two thirds fencing of the 46 square kilometer park had been done.
He however said there was need for re-enforcement of manpower to effectively patrol the park to avoid further encroachment.
Mr. Chulu also disclosed that the park has over 250 animals of 11 different species and was expected to be restocked with more after the official opening.
And one of the farmers, Steven Banda who spoke on behalf of his group commended the minister and government for allowing them to continue with their farming and vacate the area after the next farming season.
He pledged that his group would comply by the directive to vacate the park after harvesting crops.
The over 700 farmers are from different parts of Lusaka including Chawama, Kamwala, Kabwata, Woodlands, Chilenje and the displaced Mahopo residents.
Zambia currently has 19 National Parks and 36 game reserves. The Lusaka Park will become the 20th National Park in the country once gazetted.
TOURISM BOARD OF ZAMBIA TO LAUNCH THE NEW BRAND OF THE COUNTRY’S TOURISM SECTOR BEFORE THE END OF THE 2ND QUARTER OF 2011
THE TOURISM BOARD OF ZAMBIA HAS PROJECTED THAT IT WILL LAUNCH THE NEW BRAND OF THE COUNTRY’S TOURISM SECTOR BEFORE THE END OF THE SECOND QUARTER OF 2011. TOURISM BOARD OF ZAMBIA CHAIRMAN MR. TIMOTHY MUSHIMBWE HAS TOLD RADIO PHOENIX IN LUSAKA THAT THE RE-BRANDING PROJECT WHICH IS ONGOING IS A MAMMOTH TASK AND REQUIRES TIME AND APPROPRIATE RESOURCES IF AN EXCELLENT AND ULTIMATE GOAL IS TO BE ATTAINED.
AND MR. MUSHIMBWE SAYS THE BOARD TARGETS TO ACHIEVE THE 3 MILLION ARRIVALS BY THE END OF 2017 AND SUBSEQUENTLY INCREASE OVER 1.5 BILLION DOLLARS OF NEW INVESTMENT IN HOTELS, LODGES, TRANSPORT, FOOD SUPPLIES AND ANCILLARY SERVICES.
HE EXPLAINS THAT THE BROAD PLANS TO ALSO INCREASE BOTH TOURIST ARRIVALS AND THE VISITOR VALUE BY INCREASING THE LENGTH OF OVERNIGHT STAYS, EXTENDING THE TOURIST SEASON AND TARGET HIGH YIELDING MARKETS.
SPEAKING AT THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF LIVINGSTONE INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF TOURISM EXCELLENCE AND BUSINESS MANAGEMENT (LIUTEBM) IN LUSAKA TODAY, MR. MUSHIMBWE SAID CURRENTLY TOURISM INDUSTRY CONTRIBUTES ABOUT 2.8% OF THE G.D.P AND PLANS TO RAISE IT TO 5.4% BY 2012.
AND THE TOURISM COUNCIL OF ZAMBIA (TCZ) CHAIRMAN MARK O’DONNELL HAS POINTED OUT THAT THE COUNCIL WILL CONTINUE TO LOBBY GOVERNMENT AND ADVOCATE FOR FAVOURABLE POLICY CHANGE AND CONDUCIVE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT TO REALIZE THE COMPETITIVENESS OF THE TOURISM SECTOR BOTH AT REGIONAL AND GLOBAL MARKET.
MR. O’DONNELL SAYS THE TOURISM SECTOR AT THE MOMENT FACES A NUMBER OF CHALLENGES SUCH AS LACK OF ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE CREDIT WHICH WILL HAVE TO BE ADDRESSED IF THE LOCAL TOURISM IS TO THRIVE IN THE FUTURE.
HE COMMENDED LIUTEBM FOR THE INITIATIVE STATING THAT THIS WILL HELP IN ADDRESSING THE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT CONSTRAINTS THAT THE TOURISM INDUSTRY IS CURRENTLY FACING.
AND SPEAKING AT THE SAME FUNCTION LIUTEBM VICE CHANCELLOR DR PATRICK KALIFUNGWA SAID THE PRIMARY GOAL OF THE UNIVERSITY IS TO MAKE SURE THAT THE GRADUATES BEING CHURNED OUT OF IT ACQUIRE THE NECESSARY CONFIDENCE, KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND PROFESSIONAL ACUMEN BEFITTING THE MARKET DEMAND.
AND LIUTEBM BOARD MEMBER CHARITY LUMPA THE LAUNCH OF THE UNIVERSITY WILL HELP EMPOWER THE INDUSTRY PERSONNEL WITH ALL KINDS OF MANAGERIAL SKILLS WHICH HAVE BEEN LACKING.
RESTAURANT AND BAR IN THE VICTORIA FALLS RAIN FOREST
A 120 seater restaurant, bar and merchandise shop has been established in the Victoria Falls Rain Forest. Victoria Falls is a National Heritage Site and one of the seven natural wonders of the world and the establishment of this commercial enterprise is in violation of the rules governing National Heritage Sites. The rules state that there shall be no further infrastructural development in the rain forest, apart from the upgrading of existing structures. It is also ruled that in a National Monument such as the Victoria Falls Rain Forest, there shall be no outlet that sells food and beverages.
In view of the number of people that the restaurant can accommodate, there will now be a greatly increased number of people wandering through the rainforest and there are not sufficient ablution facilities to cater for them.
Of greatest concern is the possibility that Victoria Falls Rain Forest is now in danger of losing its status as a National Heritage Site.
AND A WEEK LATER GILL SENT THIS FOLLOW UP TO THE STORY:
UNESCO endorses Victoria Falls Rainforest Restaurant
From Amazing Victoria Falls
THE United Nations Education and Scientific Organisation (Unesco) has endorsed the restaurant that was constructed at the entrance of the Victoria Falls rainforest (pictured), the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Dr Sylvester Maunganidze, has said.The development means that the World Heritage Status of the rainforest is not under threat from delisting.
Dr Maunganidze said the endorsement of the restaurant follows a decision by Unesco to send a secret mission into the country on Monday which he said found nothing amiss at the facility.
The restaurant has been closed for a month after the National Museums and Monuments (NMMZ) unilaterally took over the control of the rainforest from the long time managers, the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (NPWMA).At the same time parks rangers were also booted out of office.
The two Government entities are fighting each other for control of the entrance at one of the Seven Wonders of the World which rakes in about US$7 000 daily and the restaurant was caught in the cross fire.
In an interview yesterday in the resort town of Victoria Falls, Dr Maunganidze said Unesco convened a meeting in Livingstone, Zambia, to discuss the conservation programme at Victoria Falls among other issues “Unesco had picked from the media that there were some fights around the restaurant with NMMZ claiming that the facility should not be there as it was in violation of Unesco protocol and that it was disturbing the skyline of the Falls.
“So out of that meeting, Unesco sent a secret mission on Monday to see the restaurant and the mission later reported that there was nothing amiss, adding that it was not interfering with the WHS.
“Unesco also had never complained about the restaurant as some elements in the local and international media were claiming,” he said.“Unesco even quoted a local non-governmental organisation that was raising the dust and one wonders on whose behalf they were raising dust. In fact, Unesco concluded that the restaurant was adding value to the Falls.”
He noted that Unesco and his ministry had no qualms over the operation of the restaurant noting that a directive by Vice President Nkomo for the status quo of the facility to remain should be followed.
“My ministry gave the operator Shearwater Adventures a licence to operate and would see to it that they re-open soon.“I am taking the matter up to Vice President Nkomo who gave a directive last month for the status quo to remain at the rainforest,” he said.Trouble started when NMMZ tried to control the Victoria Falls rainforest by elbowing out long-time managers NPWMA.NMMZ also forced the restaurant to close.
However, the Government took a position that the management of the rainforest reverts to the parks authority. The battle to control the rainforest has been raging behind closed doors for more than a decade.
The area was declared a national monument in 1932 and a national park in 1957 before Unesco designated it a World Heritage Site in 1989.
COAL MINING IN HWANGE NATIONAL PARK
I recently travelled to Hwange National Park and was dismayed to discover that on the road into Sinamatella Camp, you now travel through an ugly coal mining area. There are great deposits of earth alongside the road as well as heavy duty mine vehicles. We have also had reports that there are two more coal mines inside the National Park near Robins Camp.
CHINESE MINING IN THE MAVHURADONHA MOUNTAINS
Mavhuradonha means ‘place of the falling water’ and is a natural environment of great beauty with crystal clear water and fresh mountain air.
Residents of the area, however are desperately concerned about the illegal mining operations being conducted by the Chinese in their search for chrome. The Chinese are literally ripping up the beautiful countryside just outside the wilderness area but they are closing in fast.
According to reports, they are mining without prospecting orders or permits and no Environmental Impact Assessment has been done.
Further reports have been received that the Chinese are also starting mining operations in the Nyamaneche Game Park in Mvurwi. Apparently there were 9 rhino in the game park, 6 of which have now been poached. The remaining 3 were supposed to be relocated but it is believed that they too have been poached.
AND IN A RELATED DEVELOPMENT GILL ALSO SENT THIS DAMNING REPORT ABOUT CHINESE ACTIVITIES:
Chinese poachers slaughter rhinos
From International Rhino Foundation
HARARE – Chinese poachers have been accused of killing six rhinos at a game sanctuary near Harare as incidents linking the spreading Chinese footprint in Africa to both rhino and elephant killings escalated.
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said at least six rhinos were poached at the Nyamaneche Game Sanctuary this month, forcing the owners to move the three remaining rhinos to a safer location. ZCTF chairman Johnny Rodrigues suspects that a Chinese firm mining chrome in the area was behind the attack.
“There were nine rhinos at the sanctuary, six have been poached and they can’t find the other three,” Rodrigues told The Zimbabwean on Sunday.
“We believe it is the Chinese …they have some concessions here to build hotels and for hunting,” he said. The Zimbabwean on Sunday was unable to get comment on the matter from either the Chinese embassy in Harare of the firm accused of poaching rhinos.
Zimbabwe’s population of black and white rhinos was put at 3 000 in the 1980s but it has since been revised to about 700. Decades of rhino conservation are at serious risk of being undermined by crime syndicates funded by the demand for illegal rhino horn, which is still used in traditional Chinese medicines. Last year the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC found that Zimbabwe lost over 25 percent of its rhino population between 2006 and 2009 to illegal killing. This troubling figure includes 89 percent of all black rhinos killed on the continent.
Incidents linking the spreading Chinese footprint in Africa to both rhino and elephant killings have been escalating in recent years. Last week, a critically endangered black rhino was killed in the world-famous Serengeti National Park amid growing concerns that Tanzania’s warm relationship with China could lead to further problems with its precious pachyderms. In Southern Africa, there are increased reports of rhino killings in areas where Chinese newcomers are working and settling.
The rhino killings appear to be concentrated along the Mozambique-South Africa border, the eastern border of South Africa’s Kruger National Park, down to KwaZulu-Natal, and into Zimbabwe.
Illegal rhino horn is in highly sought after for use in traditional medicines in China and Vietnam, despite the fact rhino horn has been extensively analyzed and contains no medicinal properties.
And here comes the promised ‘bizarre’ one … and from where else but Zimbabwe … will sycophantic nitwits of this ilk ever stop or come to their senses – not likely!
From Radio Voice of the People, Zimbabwe
Bulawayo, December 14,2010 -A Zanu (PF) Bulawayo governor, Cain Mathema said he is pushing for the exhumation of Cecil John Rhodes remains in Matopo area which he accuses of blocking the rains.
Rhodes is buried at Malindidzimu hill in Matopo just outside Bulawayo.
“I wonder why years after independence of Zimbabwe his grave is still found there. We are going exhume it and send it to Britain where it belongs. Right now we are failing to get rains because of Rhodes’ bones buried at Matopo Hills,” Mathema told Radio VOP.
Mathema also said he is very angry with Rhodes’ grave and this has made him stop visiting Matopo area.
Rhodes was born in England on July 5, 1853 and was buried in Matopo on the 10th of April 1902.He was elected to the Cape Parliament in South Africa and by 1890 became Prime Minister. During this time, he actively pursued north of the Limpopo River. The result of his endeavours produced new British annexations: Nyasaland (now Malawi), Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
Mathema added he wanted the David Livingstone’s stature in Victoria Falls removed and replaced by the one for President Robert Mugabe.