Thursday, January 25, 2007

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

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