Affected people in Mumbwa have told a game ranch owner to leave or face instant mob justice after failing to give the community about 200, 000 US dollars due to them.
The community has also written to Royal Kafue limited , a private game ranch informing it of a decision to terminate the lease agreement between the two.
In a demand letter written to Royal Kafue, the community game ranch is demanding for 32, 000 US dollars arising from hunting activities of 2019, 10, 000 US dollars that was not paid upon signing the lease agreement in 2009 and 1, 000 US dollars monthly rent escalating at the rate of 5% and in total 192, 933.90 US dollars.
Royal Kafue Ltd retains some 40,000 acres of pristine Kafue wilderness in a joint venture with the Kaindu community.
The letter further states that Royal Kafue had failed to transfer 20% shares to the community game ranch (KNRT) as agreed in the lease agreement, a sign that relationship between the two parties had broken down.
KNRT chairman Humphrey Kabinda said the community game ranch had no option but to terminate the lease agreement in the bestg interest of the people.
‘’Notice is hereby given to yourselves to give vacant possession of farm number 10415 at the expiry of six months from the date hereof,
you are therefore advised to wind up your operations in the next six months,’’ read the letter in part.
Mr Kabinda further advised Royal Kafue in the same letter not to book any safaris for the next hunting season as KNRT would not apply for
any hunting quota for the 2020 season.
The Kaindu Community Resource Board (CRB) has also written to the ministry of tourism and arts senior warden asking for support in form of taking control of the game area and game scouts protecting the animals.
CRB chairman Billin Kalutwa stated in his letter dated 28th April 2020 the would require the presence of wildlife police officers to supervise operations until fresh elections were held to appoint new office bearers of the trust.
When contacted for a comment, Acting director of National Parks and Wildlife Chuma Simukonda confirmed that Royal Kafue under KNRT has no authority to hunt in the area as there was no formal agreement between the three parties.
Ms Simukonda stated that Royal Kafue had had gotten the land it operates on for non- consumptive use thus making the private firm invalid to hunt.
‘’In addition, we as the department of national parks and wildlife observed that the lease agreement between the two parties was lopsided and disadvantaged the community, this is something the government cannot support.
She further said the hunting license would remain suspended until both parties sought guidance from government institutions such as the Public Private Partnership Unit on how best to secure a private sector investor with acceptable terms and conditions.
Royal Kafue managing director Andrew Baldrey responded saying the purported termination of the lease agreement was disgusting and meant to deprive the community of their project and incomes.
Mr Baldrey accused the trust of failing to account for the monies they had been receiving and that failure to do so was a sign that leadership at that level needed to