Panicky but with no shame, Minister of Tourism Ronald Chitotela and Eastern Province Minister Makebi Zulu today Monday continued deceiving traditional Leaders of Mambwe District on the capture and abduction of animals from South Luangwa National Park.
The two ministers told chiefs that the purpose of capturing animals from South Luangwa is to restock other national parks.
The two men who are working for and together with international poachers told chiefs that Translocation of animals is an effective management strategy in the conservation of animals. It decreases the risk of extinction by increasing the range of a species, augmenting the numbers in a critical population, or establishing new populations thus reducing the risk of extinction.
The two ministers were a bit honest to tell chiefs that a few of the captured animals will be taken to Mbizi game reserve.
But here is the deception. The ministers did not tell the chiefs that Mbizi is a private game reserve that charges top Dollar for a person to enter. There are few black people, let alone Zambians that enter Mbizi.
Mbizi is located in Luangwa Valley and is a private owned property of 20,000 hectare. As the owners of the game reserve state publicly, the Main activity is exclusive hunting safaris, forestry, abattoir, game breeding.’
Clearly the purpose and design of Mbizi is different from the main purpose of South Luangwa National park. Wildlife in Luangwa National park belongs to all Zambians but managed by government.
Animals is Mbizi game reserve belong to the owners of that private property. Once animals are abducted from South Luangwa National Park to Mbizi private game reserve, they become private property. They are no longer owned by the people of Zambia but by those International poachers led by Simon eldridge at Mbizi reserve.
These owners of Mbizi can do whatever they want with the animals once they obtain custody. It is from these private game reserves that our animals are trafficked to South Africa and sold for 17 million Rands each. Those animals that are not trafficked are hunted for fun by bored rich people from Europe and USA. Yet, here are our leaders defending this exploitation and theft of our wildlife, our heritage.
But we are comforted in all this when we realise that time for accounting will come for Makebi and Chitotela. It surely does and it will. As for Chitotela, the man doesn’t learn.