On 13 August 2006, The Times of Zambia reported that Xen Vlahakis of Safari Par Excellence, had obtained two 99-leasehold title deeds (Plot No. 14730/m and 14732/m) in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park.
The ZAWA DG of the time, Hapenga Kabeta, explained in the newspaper report, that this was not allowed, but that a 25-year Tourism Concession Agreement ‘Would give comfort to the investors and ZAWA as the security of tenure was guaranteed and the Wildlife Act not violated’. No investigation by the ACC took place, nor charges laid against Vlahakis.
Vlahakis is also involved in the Livingstone lionscam project which has seen lion imported into Zambia illegally and which lead to the illegal alienation by them of 800 ha of the Dambwa Local Forest adjoining the Mosi Park by the ‘walking with lions’ project, even though under the Provincial Forestry Action Plan the Dambwa Local Forest No. 22 – making use of the Local Forests (Control and Management) Regulations (Statutory Instrument No. 52 of 1999) – the Forest had been declared a Joint Forest Management Area, and a Forest Management Committee elected from the 300 Zambian families dependent on the forest. In July 2010 Parliament reported that the Livingstone City Council had had the Dambwa de-gazetted, taking over 4,000 ha; and that the Anti-Corruption Commission was investigating. Four years of silence. And remember Legacy Holdings, ZAWA and Mwanawasa’s part in the attempt to illegally alienate 220 ha of the Park for 25 years?