HomeLettersHippo Pools resort article fraught with inaccuracies

Hippo Pools resort article fraught with inaccuracies



ON July 2 the Zimbabwe Independent published an article entitled “Hippo Pools Resort under threat” by Munyaradzi Wasosa.



“>This article has been highly sensational and has several inaccuracies as listed below.


l “Suspected Zanu PF activists are wreaking havoc in the camp”. Zanu PF last caused problems in the camp in November 2003. This is eight months ago. We are now open to clients and are not having any problems that we are aware of from Zanu PF;


l “Unidentified people armed with rifles”. These people were not “unidentified”, in fact they are citizen hunters who had purchased a hunt legally by auction. Your reporter was supposed to check whether National Parks had authorised them to hunt near Hippo Pools or not. This is actually explained in your next paragraph so I do not know where you got “unidentified” from;


l “Jarvis said Masaraure was using youths to destroy non-hunting signs erected around the camp”. This is totally untrue. In fact I explained that the signs had been destroyed by bush fires.


The tone of the article gives the impression that armed poachers are a threat. This is not true and as far as is known we do not have armed poachers in the area, nor has there been any kind of threat by poachers to clients. You have also said Masaraure “uses poachers and Zanu PF youths to intimidate camp workers and tourists who visit the camp”.


This is totally untrue and as far as I know Masaraure has never used poachers to do anything for him.


These are my main complaints on what I believe is a very badly written article. Wasosa promised to give me a preview of the article which he did not do before publishing. As you know the political goings-on are very sensitive and we need to get these stories completely straight and accurate.


The sensational nature of this article is already having adverse effects on our operation.


Wasosa was asked merely to investigate the hunting that was carried out in the close proximity to the camp.


To sum up:

* As far as is known the camp, its workers and clients are not under immediate threat from anyone;

* Hunters in the area are not “unidentified”;

* Poachers are not used by National Parks for any task whatsoever; and

*”No hunting” signs were destroyed by fire.


However, National Parks do need to thoroughly investigate the activities of Masaraure and categorically commit themselves to the safety of everyone visiting the area.


IS Jarvis,

Wilderness Africa Trust executive director,

Harare.

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