Hunting licences revenue has not been economical, says Masebo

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TOURISM and arts minister Sylvia Masebo says revenue from resident hunting licences has not been economical as the cost of their implementation are a challenge to ZAWA.

And Masebo says the government envisages an even closer collaboration with banks at the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
In a statement, Masebo stated that the resident hunting licence has been abused in many cases where hunters have ended up hunting more animals than what has been allowed on a particular licence.

“This is because of the few ZAWA officers on the ground to do the monitoring. In addition, some resident hunters have re-sold their licences to foreigners for more money depriving government of the much needed revenue for effective wildlife management,” he stated.

Masebo stated that animals under the resident hunting category have been hunted at very low prices to the extent of threatening the very animal populations as compared to relatively fewer animals under
non-resident hunting.

She stated that this unbalanced way of hunting has tended to encourage corruption in the whole process and business of resident hunting.
Masebo stated that it was against this background that her ministry, through ZAWA, decided to partially suspend the granting of resident hunting for the 2012 hunting season.

She stated that much as her ministry would like all the people of Zambia to have access to their wildlife resources, this was not sustainable and should not continue.

“The government is aware of the contributions of the local communities living in the Game Management Areas in the conservation of wildlife. To this effect the government has allowed resident hunting by Zambian citizens living in GMAs,” she stated.

Masebo stated that these licences would strictly be sold to the chiefs and their subjects residing within the GMAs, adding that what has been suspended was the issuance of the resident hunting licences to citizens and established residents living outside GMAs.

She stated that people were, however, free to hunt under the non-resident hunting category under a registered safari hunting company.

“The resident hunters residing in the GMAs have since been advised that the resident hunting licences being issued to them cannot be re-sold to foreigners, established residents or Zambian citizens residing outside GMAs as this would constitute a breach and risk having this privilege withdrawn from them,” Masebo stated.

And during a meeting with the Bankers Association of Zambia at the Radisson Blu Hotel yesterday, Masebo said she had no doubt that BAZ, as key private sector players in the tourism industry, would rise to the challenge and work with the government to deliver an exceptional experience to all UNWTO general assembly delegates to be held next year.

Zambia and Zimbabwe are next August co-hosting the general assembly, the first in southern Africa and second in Africa after Senegal.

And during the same meeting, Vice-President Guy Scott said the government is determined to develop the tourism sector by engaging all the stakeholders.
Vice-President Scott said there was need to take tourism development more seriously for the country to create the jobs that it needs.

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