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Game Farming gives people and wildlife hope

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Mirriam Nasilele & Wisdom Muzoka, Wildlife Crime Prevention

In the search for sustainable economic development, commercial game farming has emerged as one of Zambia’s ‘new’ ventures and has shown immense potential to create sustainable employment thereby reducing poverty levels whilst also helping to conserve our precious wildlife species. Although not new at all, given the industry has been around for several decades, it is being seen through a new lens. Traditionally most Zambian game farms are side-lines to largescale commercial arable or cattle farms.  This is in great contrast to other countries in the region where game farming is booming. South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe have thriving industries that provide live animals and meat for sale.

In a 2013 report for the Wildlife Producers Association of Zambia, Dr Peter Lindsey estimated that game ranching, crocodile farming and the game capture and trading industries have a combined turnover of approximately USD15.7 million per annum[1]. While that might sound like a lot, there is a lot more potential in Zambia for game ranching. The report also interesting stated that game ranching provided more income per kilogram of biomass than livestock farming. Further, game ranching allows for the utilization of marginal lands and provides a buffer against drought and climate change, something that Zambia is currently experiencing. Dr Lindsey found that ranchers who utilized wildlife in addition to crop farming and/or livestock farming boosted their income by an average of 23%.  Although more than 6 years have passed since this report was produced, the game industry is Zambia is still yet to fully take off.

Game farming has immense potential for growth in Zambia. Zambia has a relatively small but highly urbanized population. This provides large tracts of underutilized land most of which is not suitable for livestock farming but ideal for game.  As climate change causes changes in temperature and rainfall patterns, many farmers are rethinking their agricultural practices.  Income from game ranching is predicted to be less affected by climate change than livestock farming and may thus provide a buffer for global negative climate change effects. Due to endemic foot-and-mouth-disease status, the export of beef and other livestock products to the European Union is challenging for Zambia, whilst focusing on an domestic game market in Zambia could potentially do away with the stringent and often expensive veterinary controls that limit wildlife-based land uses in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.

However, Zambia has not fully explored its game farming potential. According to Wildlife Producers Association of Zambia (WPAZ), only a small number of recreational game farms are scattered throughout the country. WPAZ’s Chairman Ian Robinson, explains that the revenues collected from the country’s game farms are so small they have no real meaning or significance. Meanwhile, South Africa’s commercial game farming industry generates more money from game farming than from agriculture, at over USD6 billion per annum.

The biggest difference between Zambia and the countries that are making fortunes from game farming is that Zambia has been losing its wildlife to illegal, unsustainable and unregulated industries like poaching and the illegal bushmeat trade for years. As a result, Zambia is losing out on the social and economic benefits that it could otherwise realize from its wildlife resource for current and future generations.There are many ways in which Zambia can profit from a well-established and fully functional game farming industry.

A Source of Legal Game Meat

Knock on any door in Zambia and you will likely find someone who consumes game meat. Zambia has a significant market for game meat that is currently being provided for by bushmeat which is illegally and unsustainably sourced.  It is an undeniable fact that Zambians love game meat. It has always been an important part of the diets of many as it is thought to be tasty and has cultural connotations. This has created a high demand that has sadly only been met so far by a small supply of legal game meat. Ian Robinson revealed that Zambia’s game meat demand is 10 times the current legal supply.

Taking advantage of this, ruthless poachers have created an illegal bushmeat industry that poses a serious threat to Zambia’s wildlife populations through unethical, unselective and unsustainable hunting methods such as snaring and poisoning. Due to the hunting methods and processing utilised, bushmeat is often not fit for consumption as people never really know what animal they are eating or under what conditions the meat was prepared. Diseases are often reported by consumers of illegal bushmeat. For example, an outbreak of Anthrax currently being experienced in the Lower Zambezi may well be contaminating illegal sources of bushmeat unknown to unsuspecting consumers.

Game farming therefore poses an opportunity to create a supply of game meat, that is legal, fit for consumption and most importantly, sustainable. If properly marketed, legal game meat can quickly win the hearts of many, after all, Zambians rightly love a trusted source. To this effect, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) in collaboration with Wildlife Crime Prevention (WCP) is currently running a campaign dubbed This Is Not A Game, which is meant to sensitize the public on the dangers of illegal bushmeat as well as to point consumers to the right sources of legal game meat.

 

A Sustainable way to create employment

On average, the illegal bushmeat trade creates employment for only a few people, mainly the poachers and the illegal traders. All of whom put their freedom at risk every time they participate in illegal activities. It does not create employment for many people outside the supply chain nor does it provide long term sustainable income. Further, the illegal bushmeat industry is not regulated so neither the local communities nor the rest of the country benefit in any way. Ultimately it significantly reduces the chances of any Zambian benefitting from our vast natural resources.

On the other hand, a fully functional game farm can create employment for over 150 people from the local community through farm workers, drivers, administrators, veterinary doctors and many other support staff. It can also provide the government with a sustainable income, through taxes, for the improvement of life in communities around game farms and the rest of the country. This is already happening in Zambia, where the few thriving game farms have created employment for local people and are helping local communities through monies given to Community Resource Boards. However, there is great potential for this to improve significantly. That will require a deliberate effort encourage the growth of the game farming industry.

The Ministry of Tourism and Arts, through DNPW have made several public statements encouraging the growth of this industry and new policy reforms are hoped to support its further development. It is difficult to talk about game farming without talking about how one can become a game farmer in Zambia. Would be farmers can visit the DNPW offices in Chilanga for information on how to set up legal game parks as well as find out what game would be best to rear on the proposed farm land.

In addition, How to start a game ranch[2], an article by The Ministry of Tourism and Arts Public Relations Officer Sakabilo Kalembwe, is also a good way to get an introduction to legal game farming as it discusses in depth the necessary procedure for starting a game farm in Zambia.

In the meantime, next time you are offered bushmeat think twice about the impact you are really having on our country, our environment and your stomach. Be sure to ask to see a licence to ensure you are eating legal game meat to make sure you really know what’s on your plate.

[1] Lindsey, P.A., Barnes, J., Nyirenda, V., Tambling, C., Taylor, W.A., 2013, The Zambian game ranching industry: scale, associated benefits, and limitations affecting its development,

[2] https://www.daily-mail.co.zm/how-to-start-a-game-ranch/

 

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Tutwa had many children out of wedlock, administrator submits in court

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AN administrator of late lawyer Tutwa Ngulube’s estate has submitted in court that women are coming up claiming to have had children with her late brother.

Ms Tawanda Ngulube submits that one of the women is actually married and the child she claims was fathered by Mr Ngulube was born while the same woman was in her current marriage.

She submits that this scenario made it difficult to ascertain the truthfulness of the claims by the mothers as the children they claim were fathered by Mr Ngulube were not known by any members of the Ngulube family.

This is in a matter in which Catherine Kuntepa, a woman who submitted in court that she a guardian of Mr Ngulube’s five children, sued Mr Ngulube’s wife, Glenda Sokontwe and Ms Ngulube, as administrators.

Ms Kuntepa wants the Lusaka High Court to order the two administrators to render an inventory of Mr Ngulube’s estate and also an order for full and fair distribution of Mr Ngulube’s estate to the deceased’s children she is keeping.

However, Ms Ngulube has contended that the properties cannot be distributed to the beneficiaries in question until all the estate for Mr Ngulube are collected.

“We are unable to distribute the properties to the named beneficiaries until the executor’s year is completed to allow us to gather and collect all the estate of the deceased for the benefit of all the beneficiaries”.

Ms Ngulube adds that Mr Ngulube left landed property, vehicles, shares and the money held in his bank accounts, assets estimated at K20 million and that administrators have also paid out K1million in liabilities left by the lawyer, who was survived by a wife, children, a parent and dependants.

“We begun the process of identifying the beneficiaries under the estate of the deceased as it turned out that the deceased had many children outside wedlock, who were not known to the family of the deceased,” she submits.

Ms Ngulube submits that the procedure of identifying beneficiaries became extra complicated when it was learnt that one woman who claimed that the Mr Ngulube fathered her child is married.

It was then that a consultation process with the office of the Administrator General started on how to handle the estate.

Ms Ngulube submits that the estate could therefore not be distributed until it was ascertained that the claims from the mothers regards genuineness of the paternity of their children.

She adds that Mr Ngulube left a huge estate comprising 20 landed properties and that the process of gathering the assets took a considerable time while lawyers have been engaged to register the letters of administration against all the properties of the deceased as required by law.

Because of this scenario, administers are unable to distribute the properties to the named beneficiaries until the executor’s year is completed to allow us to gather and collect all the estate of the deceased for the benefit of all the beneficiaries.

(Mwebantu, Monday, 4th March, 2024)

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Lifestyle

Mutale Mwanza says UTH doctor promised to fix her

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IN defence to an assault lawsuit filed against her, media socialite Mutale Mwanza has submitted in court that the University Teaching Hospital doctor who sued her vowed to fix her during a traffic altercation between them.

Ms Mwanza has also dismissed the doctor’s submission that she approached her while carrying a gun in her hands.

She has however submitted that the gun in question was secured in her waist and covered by the long coat she was wearing on that day.

Ms Mwanza has also denied intimidating or threatening the plaintiff, Natasha Mulenga, who has sued her in the High Court over alleged assault and trauma which allegedly occurred last November.

In her documents, the plaintiff submitted that as she was driving home, she found a broken-down vehicle in Chainda area with traffic building behind it and decided to keep to her lane.

She submits that she decided to pass the scene in order for the built-up traffic to flow but before her vehicle passed the broken-down car, Ms Mwanza started flashing her lights at the doctor’s vehicle.

The plaintiff submitted that the journalist then decided to bypass the broken-down vehicle and joined her lane.

When Ms Mwanza blocked the doctor’s car, she (Ms Mwanza) disembarked from her car with a firearm in her right hand, approached the plaintiff’s vehicle while shouting and banging on it.

Dr Mulenga submitted that the incident caused her extreme trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, severe anxiety, physiological distress and sleep disorder.

She is demanding assault compensation.

But Ms Mwanza has dismissed the allegations and argues that the doctor is not entitled to the compensation she is seeking, accusing her of having a desire to address emotional grievances through legal means to remedy every “minor emotional distress she purports to have suffered”.

The defendant contends through her lawyers hat she never approached the doctor while carrying a gun because “the fire arm was firmly secured around her waist while she was wearing a long coat. It is presumed that the plaintiff may have observed the outline of the grip, leading to a misunderstanding”.

She adds that her decision to flash lights at the doctor was not to threaten her but indicate that she had already swerved to avoid the broken down vehicle.

Ms Mwanza said the doctor refused to reverse after she blocked traffic, a development which prevented her (Ms Mwanza) from manoeuvring backward due to the cars queued behind her.

She said during the period, Dr Mulenga was quarrelling with a bus conductor and that the physician was overheard shouting “Just because the defendant [Ms Mwanza] claims to be a celebrity, you expect me to reverse? I can’t”.

When Ms Mwanza approached Dr Mulenga, she submits that she politely asked her to reverse her vehicle but the physician refused and yelled while vowing to fix Ms Mwanza before reversing.

She maintains the doctor’s refusal to give way even after being requested to do so was irresponsible and dangerous.

(Mwebantu, Monday, 4th March, 2024)

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Retired Major arrested for defiling young maid

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A retired Zambia Army major of Makeni Villa in Lusaka has been arrested for allegedly defiling a 15 year old girl who was working as a maid at his house.

Police deputy spokesperson Danny Mwale said the matter was reported to Police by the victim who alleged that she was defiled on several occasions by her guardian only identified as Mr Simutile aged 67.

He said the victim revealed that the suspect had canal knowledge of her on unknown dates, but between 2021 and 2023 at his house.

Mr Mwale said police initial investigations revealed that during the same period, the victim was working as a maid and her monthly pay was being sent direct to her parents in Siavonga District.

He said the victim alleged that Mr Simutile used to have canal knowledge of her when all other family members were not around at home.

“On March 2, 2024 around 16:30 hours, the victim told officers that she sneaked out of the house after she saw the suspect advancing towards her. She ran to the Police station where she reported the matter and immediately Police instituted investigations which led to the arrest of the suspect who was further identified to be a retired Major from the Zambia Army,” Mr Mwale said.

He said the victim, who was immediately moved to a Safe Home, is currently undergoing medical treatment while the suspect is detained in custody waiting to be formally charged.

(Mwebantu, Sunday, 3rd March, 2024)

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