I REFER to the article “Move to acquire conservancies critised” (Zimbabwe Independent, March 26).
The article contains
comments from myself that were extracted from a submission to the Presidential Land Resettlement Committee regarding the draft policy on wildlife-based land reform.
It is important to note that firstly, these comments were not published with our approval and secondly, that they referred to one version of a policy that is still only in draft form.
Your journalist made no effort to contact me or the WWF office, probably because he anticipated that we would request that he desist from utilising this confidential information which was clearly leaked to him by someone in accordance with a political and not conservation agenda.
While WWF appreciates the strong public interests that pertain to wildlife-based land reform, we also appreciate that current policy formulation is still in a stage of debate with stakeholders and is not finalised, therefore premature publicity can give misleading impressions.
The government of Zimbabwe has assured us of its intention to consider all responsible views before finalising this policy and it would be desirable to avoid undue press speculation over the evolving policy at this stage.
Raoul du Toit,
Support to Rhino Conservancy,