THE Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) has suspended the issuance of hunting licences to Mushingashi Conservancy because the game ranch has allegedly failed to control poaching and support law enforcement operations due to financial challenges.
And ZAWA public relations officer Sakabilo Kalembwe says the authority has opened a wildlife police camp on Mushingashi Conservancy to contain poaching on the private game ranch, which borders the northern part of Kafue National Park.
Mr Kalembwe said this in a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday.
“It is disappointing that Mushingashi Conservancy, which is located approximately 60 kilometres from our Mumbwa office and has radio communication, email, phone connectivity and vehicles has deliberately decided not to report to ZAWA on the poaching incidences on their game ranch when they are required by law to do so. Mushingashi Conservancy boasts to have 70 scouts equipped with radio communication and equipment needed to fight poaching,” he said.
Mr Kalembwe also said ZAWA is left wondering why an area which has such facilities claims to have lost 30 elephants without reporting the cases of poaching on time.
He said it is unfortunate that Mushingashi Conservancy opted to circulate pictures of carcasses on social media in a quest to appeal for funds for law enforcement on the game ranch without first reporting to ZAWA.
Mr Kalembwe cautioned Mushingashi Conservancy management to conduct its operations in a proper manner without bringing the name of the authority into odium, disrepute and ridicule and not to blame ZAWA for its shortcomings and failure to adequately provide security for the wildlife found on the property.
Mr Kalembwe said ZAWA will in the interest of good game management not issue any resident or non-resident hunting licences to the conservancy until it shows capacity to manage its own affairs.