By Luwi Nguluka
Zambia’s wildlife conservation and tourism sectors are inextricably linked. In many cases without one there is no other. In fact, for many organizations who work on the front lines of protected areas in Zambia the operational funding that makes their work possible is derived directly from monies paid by tourists. The Department of National Parks and Wildlife and supporting partner NGOs such as Conservation Lower Zambezi and Conservation South Luangwa receive funding from the proceeds of tourism.
Without conservationists there would be no wildlife to see and likely no tourism. In other words, the expensive work, carried out by the Government of the Republic of Zambia, of keeping Zambia’s wildlife safe from poaching is supported by those who come to explore this country’s beautiful landscape, flora, and fauna.
Zambia is world renowned for its wildlife. From the elephant rich Luangwa valley in the east to lions of the Liuwa plains in the west, Zambia is home to spectacular scenes experienced nowhere else in the world. This includes the world’s largest mammal migration (Kasanka Bat Migration), the largest population of Wattled Cranes in the world and the second largest wildebeest migration in Africa. In short Zambia is amazing and this is evidenced by the millions of tourists who visit the country every year.
Although much of tourism in Zambia is concentrated around a limited number of national parks, such as the South Luangwa, Kafue, Lower Zambezi, the rest of the country also has considerable attractions. Zambia has a total of 21 national parks and 34 game management areas which represent over one third of our country’s land mass. Zambia’s commitment to conserving vast tracts of land for conservation is commendable.
It is well known that Zambia’s tourism industry is financially lucrative. A 2019 report by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) stated that travel and tourism is Zambia’s fastest-growing economic sector, contributing 1,846 million dollars to our national economy, and creating over 300,000 jobs. In 2018 international visitors alone spent 8.4 billion Kwacha in Zambia. This income is desperately needed by a developing country. This also creates employment for people in rural communities residing near protected areas.
Sadly, the arrival of COVID-19 and subsequent bans on travel and leisure activities have jeopardized the many gains made by our tourism and conservation sectors. In a recent address to the nation, President Lungu stated that tourism losses are estimated to dig a USD 400-million hole in Zambia’s economy and result in the loss of thousands of jobs. Ecotourism Association of Zambia chairperson Grant Cumings further stated that Zambia’s safari tourism sector will lose USD 100 million due to coronavirus cancellations with 168 safari lodges and camps closed.
We are now living in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic that has changed the world as we know it. While there are many things we are unable to fix during this time, we can still support Zambian tourism. More than ever domestic tourism is needed as many businesses struggle to stay afloat and are offering significant discounts. There are opportunities for Zambians to not only see more of their country but support local businesses and local communities. Domestic tourism is one of Zambia’s most promising prospects for economic growth and sustainable conservation efforts.
The options are endless. With 21 national parks national parks to choose from where will you go and support Zambia’s wildlife today?
For a link to lodges that are opening and offering special resident rates: https://www.zambiaresidentsafaris.com
Zindaba Soko boss detained for disobeying court
FORMER Road Transport and Safety Agency chief executive officer Zindaba Soko has been detained for contempt of court after he travelled to Dubai for a job interview and missed a court session.
He missed a court session in a matter he and two others are accused of forging a passport and National Registration Card (NRC) bearing a dead person’s name.
About two weeks ago, Soko asked for permission to travel abroad but was advertised to attend court before leaving but the instruction was not obeyed.
Consequently, Lusaka magistrate Irene Wishimanga issued a bench warrant against Soko .
When the case resumed yesterday, Soko was brought to court under warrant and when asked why he missed court, he told the court that his lawyers misled him.
Soko told court that his lawyers told him that they would file a notice in court indicating his absentia when he travelled abroad.
This is in a case Soko, 45, a transport consultant of Old Lilayi Road, is jointly charged with Ibrahim Mbongo, 24, a student of Libala South, Kelvin Kisambara, a businessman, both of Tokyo Way.
They are charged with forgery, uttering false documents, being found in possession of property believed to have been stolen or unlawfully obtained.
Allegations are that between January 1 and 17 this year, with intent to defraud, the accused allegedly forged NRC255428/10/1 in the names John Tembo, who was reportedly dead, according the police.
The trio is further purported to show that the NRC was genuinely issued by the Department of National Registration, Passport and Citizenship, when infact not.
It is further alleged that Kisambara later fraudulently uttered the purportedly forged NRC to a banker at FNB bank in Chilenje.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 23rd February, 2024)
DJ in court after inserting manhood in four girls’ mouths
A 25-YEAR-OLD DISC Jockey (DJ) of Kanyama Township, Lusaka, has pleaded not guilty to the offence of unnatural offences after he allegedly sexually abused four girls by inserting his manhood in the mouth of four girls whom he invited to his house.
The victims are all under the age of 16.
The suspect, Kelvin Mutale, 25, has been charged with four counts of unnatural offences, an offence contrary to section 155(a) of the Penal Code.
It is alleged that on December 24, 2023, Mutale had carnal knowledge of four girls against the order of nature.
When he appeared in court yesterday, Mutale pleaded not guilty to all the four counts before Lusaka magistrate Crispin Hampungani for plea.
The accused then applied for bail pending trial, to which the State did not object.
Magistrate Hampungani granted Mutale bail in the sum of K20,000 and the money has to be paid in cash for the accused to be released on bond.
The court also asked the accused to bring two sureties.
The case has been adjourned to March 19 for trial.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 23rd February, 2024)
State to grab Charity Katanga’s buses
THE Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Gilbert Phiri has applied to have the 10 Higer buses worth K26million belonging to imprisoned former Deputy Inspector General of Police Charity Katanga forfeited to the State.
Further, the DPP wants forfeiture of K1.5million which is in the account for Chibeka Express Limited, the company which was operating the 10 Higer buses deemed to be proceeds of crime.
In a notice of motion filed by the DPP before the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court, the DPP says the properties should be seized because they are tainted.
The lawsuit comes after the Magistrate’s Court jailed Ms Katanga, Monday, after being found guilty of possession of the 10 buses deemed to be proceeds of crime, is the interested party.
In the DPPs documents, the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC),
chief investigations officer Ewdin Mwanza submits that Ms Katanga Monday, February, 19, Ms Katanga was tried and convicted of the offence of possession of suspected proceeds of crime.
Mr Mwanza submits that court record will show that the former senior police officer’s conviction is based on her being found in possession of 10 higer buses whose registration numbers are; BAF 5118 ZM, BAF 5119 ZM, BAG 8558 ZM, BAG 8559 ZM, BAG 8733 ZM, BAJ 2476 ZM, BAJ 2590 ZM, BAJ 2919 ZM, BAV 2931, BAL 9126 ZM, all worth K26,282,770.
Mr Mwanza submits that the record will show that I also seized K1,55,005.15 in Chibeka Express Limited account number 9130000699156 Stanbic bank Ndola main branch which received these funds from the operations of the 10 higer buses found by this honourable court to be proceeds of crime.
He adds that the matter is a proper one in which the court can order that the buses and money in the account be forfeited to the State for being proceeds of crime.
The State prays that this court orders that the properties be forfeited to the State and paid into the government’s consolidated fund held at Central Bank.
(Mwebantu, Thursday, 22nd February, 2024