Minister of Tourism and Arts Ronald Chitotela says the government will not tolerate any illegal settlements in the protected areas such as national parks dotted across the country.
Mr Chitotela said going forward the government will not hesitate to evict illegal settlers in all protected areas.
He sounded the warning when he visited Chokomene Wildlife Camp under Lukusuzi National Park in Eastern Province.
The Tourism and Arts Minister further hailed the Department of National Parks and Wildlife working with the District Joint Operation Committee for having evicted the 233 families that were squattering in Lukusuzi National Park. Mr Chitotela explained that very soon illegal settlers in the Kafue Flats and Mumbwa Game Management Area will be evicted to restore sanity.
“We stand ready to support you officers in doing the right thing. Government values the role of Wildlife Police Officers in conservation for tourism and national development. We will not tolerate any one to stay in the protected areas and sanity will be restored,” he charged.
And Kasungu- Lukusuzi Project Coordinator Luckson Mwenya commended the government, working with GIZ for efforts made to manage, protect and safeguard game management areas.
Mr Mwenya recognised the many achievements that have been made, citing staff houses, a very high frequency radio system for security, transport and several livelihood projects.
Mr Mwenya called for continuity of the project for community sustainability.
This is contained in a statement availed to ZANIS in Lusaka today by Ministry of Arts and Tourism Public Relations Officer Sakabilo Kalembwe. –