Wednesday, January 31, 2007


The newspapers here in Zambia are full of the horrors of corruption - the cancer which renders development impossible and which has reduced this country – now in the top-ten hit parade of world corruption, to a pale shadow of what it once was. They also, in a marvelous example of their editorial capacity to hold two contradictory views simultaneously, blame the West (the imperialists) for our poverty, despite a recent report from Transparency International Zambia revealing that since independence only 16% of national government expenditure went on health, education, agriculture and local government – surely a heinous and deeply shameful shortfall of funds needed to alleviate the woeful plight of the poor; and, to add salt to the wounds, over the last 20 years almost a years’ worth of that expenditure was stolen or unaccounted for.

And there is a continuing 33 year long tide of corruption in our magnificent wilderness, our native black rhino killed, our wildlife slaughtered daily for the bushmeat trade, including, our elephant. Once it was for their tusks only, many thousands killed since1973, and now DNA analysis revealing that between 1994 - 2002, 123.5 tons of ivory - the equivalent of 14,500 elephant, were taken from the Luangwa Valley of Zambia and shipped by a single syndicate through Malawi and on to the Far East. Not surprisingly, with such a lamentable conservation record since then, Zambia is not allowed by CITES to sell its ivory stockpile (if still there), though since 2005, CITES, apparently persuaded by a Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources’ ludicrous assertion that they had identified 20 crop raiding elephant and that these should be killed on sport hunting permits, allowed it to issue 20 permits annually for elephant sport hunting, though the US Fish & Wildlife Service bars them from entry into the USA, the source of most hunting clients. Zambia of course needs money to run its statutory body responsible for wildlife; hence, you might conclude, it needs to sell some elephant permits – though the $100,000 share to the Government hardly pays for two vehicles. But the sad fact is that the Minister, advised by his head of the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA), has ignored the advice of the Zambia Natural Resources Consultative Forum – a cross-sectoral body drawn from Government departments, civil society and the donors (suppliers of 50% of Zambia’s financial needs) - which includes hunting organizations in its membership, to ban elephant hunting until such time as elephant populations and their management allow for it.

And undertakings given on 3 January at a meeting convened by the Minister with the private sector and rural community representatives - supposedly to rectify past mistakes and to consult widely with them on all issues, have fallen asunder; this followed by the lie that elephant hunting permits would not be issued unless all the people and organizations involved were consulted, and certainly not, said Dr Saiwana of ZAWA, before a ministerial visit to the Safari Club International hunting convention in Reno at the end of January.

But there was more to come on that trip to America, the Minister visiting the US Fish & Wildlife Service and lobbying not only for the ivory of the 20 elephant to be allowed in, but for increased numbers as well, he looking enviously at Zimbabwe and the 500 or so elephant it is culling (so he says), saying that Zambia’s paltry quota of eight elephant are far too few, neglecting to mention that elephant on the Zambia side are not part of the Hwange/Chobe population, and that those that are there form the basis of a thriving tourism business on the Zambezi, some of them already shot not far from the lodges.

The present Minister of Tourism etc, Kabinga Pande - guided by the dictates of politics and economics rather than wildlife management, is hard on the spoor of the previous Minister who stated that only the 20 identified crop-raiding bulls would be hunted, although the Statutory Instrument No 40 of 2005 made clear that the ‘hunting of elephants for sport (a) shall not include the hunting of elephant for purposes of controlling problem elephants’. And this SI states that nothing less than an elephant carrying 33 pounds of ivory side may be taken, thus opening the door for the killing of young breeding bulls. And what of the communities this is supposed to benefit. Evidence is to hand that communities within hunting concessions are owed a fortune by ZAWA, many of them unable to pay village scouts, encouraging them to poach the very animals they are charged to guard. One community with whom I work, with the help of the ZAWA crimes investigation unit - once it became clear we would brook no alternative, is playing a large part in bringing to book a poaching syndicate run by wildlife police officers. They shot two matriarchal herds of elephant and took the meat to the nearest roadhead where it was collected by their senior officer and transported into town in the Government pick-up.

The Minister of Tourism etc, Pande, in pursuit of economic justification, states that the 115 elephant shot as a result of village garden raiding in 2006 would have brought in $10,000 each ($1,115 000). But he clearly is unaware that a large percentage of these animals were females carrying small ivory. Not much of a trophy there. Well if we take the 14,500 elephant which were removed without let or hindrance from those charged to protect them, following the Pande formula they would have brought in $145, 000,000. And a thorough investigation of the disribution of the meat from garden raiders and elephant shot by safari hunters will surely reveal that little of it went to the villagers on whose lands the animals fell.

But it is the continuing slur on foreign investors in the safari industry, repeating in the press non-proven charges of the electronic calling of lion to the hunter’s rifle, which flies in the face of undertakings given at the truce meeting that the dirty linen would not be washed in public. And the Minister's charge that some of us send e-mails to America saying that safari hunting in Zambia is corruptly handled, is true. It would be silly to do so were it not true, and were one not able to prove it.

And today comes news of the issuing of a deportation notice by the Minister of Home Affairs against the safari operator, Ross Michelson - like me, one of those accused of calling lion with ‘louder speakers‘ but not yet found guilty in the courts (difficult when two of the three of us so charged had not been in the area where the crime was supposed to have been committed), something in defiance of habeus corpus, whose origins lie in our Magna Carta of 1215. His ‘sin’, and mine, is that he fell foul of a syndicate of anti-western imperialists; and mighty powerful they are here. And in my case, according to the present Director of Research of ZAWA, I am also inciting the local community against ZAWA. Well, as an old Game Department man here, I am merely carrying on a tradition of local villagers empowerment, kicked off by the doyen of conservationists, Norman Carr, and my friend and former colleague, Barry Shenton, in 1949/50. It is a fine and worthy tradition to follow.

Conservationists are dumbfounded by all this, donors alarmed and bunching like buffalo when a lion is about - for they know they control the purse strings, and the soldiers of civil society are both contemptuous and ashamed of what is happening. And the latter are a growing force, buoyed by their victory in defeating ZAWA and the Ministry in their proposed sale of Mosi oa Tunya National Park land and the building there of an 18 hole golf estate.

And what be the life of a paleface conservationist investor here: phone tapped, threats of deportation, ‘action targeted’, defamed, sullied and abused. Well, it be ‘faga moto’ and tilting at the windmill.

As a woman once said to me in Ireland, “It’s hard to know where you’r goin’ when you’r lost!”

Lusaka, Zambia.
31 January 2007
Chartered Wildlife Biologist
Steering Committee Member: The Natural Resources Consultative Forum of Zambia
Corporate Member: Business Action for Africa.
Foreign Investor and MD: Mbeza Safaris Ltd
Member: Professional Hunters’ Association of Zambia

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A truce and other things...

The Editor
The Post,
I refer to the Saturday Post, January 20, 2007: "Pande asks Safari operators to leave if they are not ready to operate within the law" which quoted various sources as to what was said at the recent stakeholder truce meeting held on 3 January between the Minister, ZAWA, safari operators and community representatives. As this newspaper finds its way deep into the hinterland, and as the sources appear not to have made careful notes of what was said, allow me my ngwes’ worth – being guided as I am by a fellow director present with me at that meeting, as well as two senior members of the community where we operate. Pande said foreign operators who continued to criticise Government without bringing their complaints first to its door would be asked to leave the country – not the sector; when Pande questioned casualization, I replied that casualization needed to be discussed between the stakeholders as it was a reaction of the market to prevailing economic conditions and an investor unfriendly Labour Act, and that much of the tourism industry was seasonal in nature and therefore employed many workers for part of the year; I stated that in my company’s case – purchased to support a community development scheme, large profits were illusory; Pande directed the Safari Hunting Operators Association to reflect all racial sectors of the industry – though the fact that only 50% of a racially mixed industry have joined as members is hardly the fault of the Association. However, Pande never mentioned anything at the meeting about action being taken against operators for being allegedly involved in illegal activities such as overshooting and ‘using loud speakers to attract lions before shooting them down’. This source obviously therefore intends mischief. There is a case coming before the Supreme Court which has its roots in the intemperate remarks of a former DG of ZAWA in which he accused some operators of overshooting their quotas by a few animals, saying they were criminal acts; patent nonsense of course as operators hunt legitimately in the field – and no such ‘criminal acts’ have as yet been proven. On the charge that some operators used ‘loudspeakers to call lions’, one of such charges – directed by Chief Nyalugwe against myself, Dr Guy Scott and others, being laid by Chief Nyalugwe at State House under malign influence, I can only say that I have never hunted in Nyalugwe’s country, and as far as I am aware, Scott only hunts political prey, admittedly occasionally using loudspeakers.
Ian Manning.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Some Africans in the diaspora deepened wrong views...

‘Market Zambia to the western world’
Zambia Daily Mail 27 January 2007

GOVERNMENT has appealed to Zambians in the diaspora to rise to the challenge of helping to market the country’s investment opportunities and to demystify wrong perceptions of Africa in the western world.

Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources, Kabinga Pande, said some Africans in the diaspora deepened wrong views about the continent because they did not bother to take personal responsibility to give the correct picture.

Mr. Pande was giving a lecture to students and lecturers at the University of Reno under the auspices of the Nevada Committee on Foreign Affairs focusing on Africa with special emphasis on Zambia. Mr Pande, who made a co-presentation with Zambia’s Ambassador to the US, Dr Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika, said it was the duty of Africans in the diaspora to embark on a crusade to market the continent and Zambia as objectively as possible. The minister also urged Zambians abroad to invest back home and contribute to efforts aimed at strengthening the economy. He said Zambia was an incomparable oasis of peace and political stability in Africa. “It offered an excellent investment environment which Zambians should help to market,” he said. He was confident that tourism would give impetus to the growth of the economy by eight per cent annually by 2010, from the current three per cent. The minister said President Mwanawasa’s administration through fiscal discipline and sound economic policies, had made it possible to bring inflation to a single digit. He challenged intellectuals living abroad to come forward and help improve the economy instead of being critics from a distance. He commended Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika for the role she was playing to market Zambia.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika said Zambia was one of the few African countries that continued to enjoy political stability. She said this had greatly contributed to increased investment and productivity in the nation. She explained that improved fiscal performance had also led to total debt reduction from over US$7 billion to US$500 million following the attainment of the HIPC completion point. She said Zambia was also reputed for embracing democratic governance and observing all human rights conventions.

Zambia Ministry of Tourism lobbies USA to allow elephant hunting

Zambia lobbies US over elephant trophy hunting
The Daily Mail 27 January 2007
ZAMBIA has launched a campaign to lobby the United States government to recognise elephant trophy hunting as key to the conservation of the earth’s largest mammal. The American government does not allow its citizens to participate in elephant safari hunting in Zambia, and advances the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) banning, dealing in ivory among others, as the reason for its position. Zambia has since met the United States Fisheries and Wildlife Services authorities to argue that increased quotas for trophy hunting in selected areas with trans-boundary elephant populations, was necessary. These areas include the Zambezi valley, where the elephant population was shared by Zambia and Zimbabwe. Zambia considers a quota of eight for the Lower Zambezi, far below the limit settings recognised for elephant trophy hunting quotas.

Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources, Kabinga Pande, who is leading a delegation of Government, Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA), and Zambia National Tourist Board (ZNTB) officials to the annual hunters convention in the American desert city of Reno, said he was concerned that while Zimbabwe was allowed a gigantic 500 quota in the shared trans-boundary elephant population for sport-hunting, Zambia was restricted to a paltry 20, annually. Speaking when he met United States Fisheries and Wildlife Services, director, Ken Stensil, at the Reno Convention Centre, Mr Pande observed that sport-hunting had the potential to bring large financial benefits to the country and empower local communities economically and motivate them to participate in conservation projects. He said sport hunting would also go a long way in easing animal-human conflicts in game management areas and therefore enhances conservation of animals such as elephants. He said sport hunting was a conservation tool that would help Zambia plough back proceeds into the community. He regretted that in the past, the government has been subsidising conservation of elephants through funds raised from other species when the elephant could itself contribute to its own management. Between 2001 and 2005, 115 elephants were killed on control programmes, resulting in a loss of US$1.1 million in licence fees. If the same animals were hunted for trophy, communities would have realised US$575,000 for investment in various socio-economic areas to reduce poverty. Mr Pande said although many elephants were killed on control programmes every year, the only benefit to the community was meat. He said it was for this reason that communities supported the resumption of trophy hunting.

The United States was an important market for Zambian trophies and appealed to authorities to rescind the decision not to allow their citizens to bring trophies from elephant-hunting safaris. Mr Pande also cautioned the American government to be wary of some safari hunters who were maligning the Zambian government through e-mails, suggesting that safari hunting in Zambia was corruptly handled.

And Mr Stansell assured the Zambian delegation that US authorities would study the Zambian case. He appealed for more information to enable the American authorities appreciate Zambia’s elephant situation clearly. The five-day convention organised by Safari Club International, has attracted 19,000 delegates from around the world.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

World Bank erred...Manning

Feeding from the cooking pots of the community...

Dear Ian,
As long as ZAWA still remain a parastatal institution feeding from the cooking pots of the community,it will remain a liability to conservation efforts in the country and beyond than a prime mover of objective and sustainable natural resources management practices and innovations.
A promise made in public having been abrogated in order to create some friendship with individuals and give ZAWA a breath to pay some credit is the most terrible betrayal of trust among parties ,collaborators and sympathisers.
ZAWA will never commit itself to any truth as long as they are dripping with the desire to make money for their senior staff and settle what they owe people.It is a very shamefully situation that the donor agents have continued to go to bed with ZAWA while deliberately failing to put enough conditions and ask for tangible and projected results of the use of their money.
Professional judgment and management of wildlife is no longer the main focus but the commercial benefits gained in such a program.
Have a look at what happened in the Legacy Deal.If ZAWA was ready to lease the 218 hectares of the prime area of the Park here in Livingstone for an initial $9 million and a further $ 2 million per annually,what is so specially about 10 elephants selected without scientific or any elaborate research based on many considerations let alone the concern of other partners.They went even further to quickly review the draft management plan and zoned the 218 hectares as a high level used area with full support of "top and learned senior management of ZAWA.Elsewhere heads would have rolled but at ZAWA some people have built empires and dynasties run purely as an individual wish.Shame on Govt and its misinformed technocrats at ministry level.
ZAWA has completely lost direction and unless the influence of political rhetoric is stopped,by the time the alarm of misuse of public resources will have been sounded,it will be like closing the stables when the horses would have escaped.
If you check in today's Post newspaper, you will see adverts asking the public to apply for hunting licenses in GMAs.If you as a forum asked for the animal census on which the quotas will be based,you will be given none.Most likely they will be based on hunting success.We all know that this is not the best data on which to base hunting quotas.Even the minister had said it that unethical methods were used by even safari operators who he even threatened to deal with.What other atrocities are been committed by unaccompanied individual hunters in GMAs.Dry season drinking points have becomes target spots for most people hunting in GMAs
Today ZAWA game guards in Mazabuka have been turned into fish scouts,they are used by some farmers locally to clean their cattle farms of their own staff who poach for the pot once in 365 days while the Lechwe in Lochnivar are slaughtered at will by poachers.The list is endless and for those with the passion to see sanity return to ZAWA there is only one term to use that is "wildlife management in Zambia has go to the dogs and Government has NO will to say the least"
Can the National Consultative Forum address such concern for the people of Zambia and World over before its role becomes synonymous with any compromised line ministry department.
Please pass this to people that will have the nerve to find a common ground for our wildlife including donors.
Thank you for the update and have a good day.
Kalaluka Mulyokela


23 January 2007

On 3 January 2007, a truce between Government and the hunting safari industry – including sections of the tourism and conservation community, was brokered by the Minister of Tourism, Environment & Natural Resources, Kabinga Pande, at a meeting in Lusaka. The Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) Director-General, Dr Lewis Saiwana, admitted past mistakes and requested future cooperation, and the Minister promised a future open-door policy, requesting that the campaign against Government cease and that the factional fighting besetting the industry should be resolved. On Monday 15 January, 2007, Ian Manning and Rolf Shenton, steering committee members of the Natural Resources Consultative Forum of Zambia (NRCF) – a cross-sectoral forum of all the stakeholders in the environmental and natural resources field, met with the Chairman of the ZAWA Board, Walusiku Lisulo, who stated that ZAWA would fully consult all stakeholders in the future before making major decisions. This undertaking was confirmed by Dr Saiwana, who added that no elephant hunting permits would be issued without full consultation with all concerned, and that a full round of stakeholder meetings would be held in February 2007 on the return of the Minister, the Chairman and the DG from their attendance at the forthcoming Safari Club International meeting in Reno, USA.

The NRCF had in January 2006, invoked the precautionary principle, and with the agreement of the hunting fraternity of Zambia (Safari Hunting Operators’ Association and Professional Hunters’ Association), advised the Minister that no elephant hunting should be allowed until the necessary supporting scientific information was to hand. This had been ignored by the Ministry and ZAWA in 2006, assurances obviously now being sought that this would not happen again.

On Tuesday 16 January, the licensing office of ZAWA phoned safari operators to announce that an auction of elephant hunting permits would be held at ZAWA HQ on Friday19 January, 2007. On Wednesday 17 January, Manning e-mailed and had delivered by courier to Dr Lewis Saiwana, Walusiku Lisulo, and the public relations officer of the Ministry, Bwalya Nondo - the latter promising to place the letter in the hands of the Minister, a letter querying the auction. No reply was forthcoming.

On Friday 19 January 2007 - in a repeat of the auction of 2006, and witnessed by a safari operator’s representative, ten elephant for sport hunting were put up for auction at a reserve price of $10,000 each, two elephant permits being purchased by Mr Doug Reynolds of Royal Zambezi Safaris, to be killed in the Chiawa concession, an area adjoining a photo tourism hotspot. Rashid Randera of Baobab Safaris and Nyampala Safaris, who in 2006 had purchased eight elephant permits, attended the auction, did not take part in the public bid, but met with the auctioneers prior to the auction, reputedly placing an offer on the table for the permits remaining unsold – they being for two areas, Rufunsa and Lower Lupande where Randera has an interest. No other operators, Reynolds and Randera apart - as in 2006, attended. An opportunity was given to the acting Director General of the Zambia Wildlife Authority, Isaac Longwe, to comment on the auction and to confirm the train of events. He has so far not done so.

I.P.A. Manning

Friday, January 05, 2007

ZAWA official arrested

By Times Reporter

THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has arrested a Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) head of intelligence and investigations unit for allegedly soliciting for a bribe of K5 million.
Mr Winter Mvula was arrested and charged with one count of corrupt practice by public officer contrary to sections 29 (1) and 41 of the ACC Act number 42 of 1996.
ACC public relations manager Timothy Moono in a statement released in Lusaka yesterday said the officer was arrested after investigations.
Mr Moono said details of the offence were that on dates unknown but between December 1, 2006 and January 3, 2007, Mr Mvula allegedly solicited for K5 million and received a sum of K1 million from Sean Rosebotsa, director of credit at Barclays Bank head office.
Mr Moono explained that the money was allegedly given to the officer through a senior manger at the same bank.
The money was allegedly meant to be an inducement or reward for the officer not to publicise Mr Rosebotsa’s arrest.
Mr Rosebotsa was found in possession of a python skin.
He said the suspect was released on a K2 million bond with two working sureties and would appear in court on January 9, 2007 for mention and plea.