President Hichilema, hear our pleas, allow hunting to commence
COMMUNITY Resource Boards (CRBs) and their chiefs have continues appealing to President Hakainde Hichilema to hear their cries and allow the current outfitters whose hunting concession tenders were cancelled to resume their hunting business activities following the High Court judgement that has annulled the re-advertised Safari hunting tender.
There have been numerous calls by communities which are home to Game Management Areas (GMAs) that government should consider reverting to the 19 cancelled Hunting Concession Agreements (HCAs) now that the High Court has declared the re-advertised Safari hunting tender illegal null and void.
Now, Derrick Mwanza, the chairperson the Malama Community Resource Board in Mambwe district has joined the voices other CRBs in the country calling on President Hichilema to have compassion and allow the original Safari hunting concessionaires commence their hunting activities.
Mr Mwanza said it was the expectation of the CRBs that government should respect the High Court judgement and proceed to award the cancelled Hunting Concession Agreements to the outfitters who had won the tender.
He said communities which depend on Safari hunting for revenue generation had suffered two seasons of not hunting and that most of the community development programmes had completely stalled as a result.
Mr Mwanza said governments were formed to serve the people and not to punish or victimise the governed and that the UPND administration has a huge mandate of ensuring that Zambians were happily governed.
“The High Court has clearly pronounced itself that Ministry of Tourism Evans Muhanga committed an illegality by proceeding to re-advertise the Safari hunting tender after illegally cancelling the 19 Hunting Concession Agreements. It is our expectation that government is going to respect the High Court judgement and revert to the rightful concessionaires. We are for the government and government should in reciprocity be for us. When they come to campaign, they kneel before us and now it is our turn to kneel before them and President Hichilema as a compassionate leader should listen to our cries,” Mr Mwanza said.
Mr Mwanza explained that CRBs were directly involved in the conservation of wildlife on behalf of government and were therefore a branch of the state in safeguarding natural resources.
He wondered why the Ministry of Tourism had ignored the legal advice from the Attorney General Mulilo Kabesha who had clearly guided that it was illegal and against the rule of law to cancel the 19 Hunting Concession Agreements.
Mr Mwanza said had Mr Muhanga listened to the legal guidance of the Attorney General, the impasse that had resulted in the Safari hunting business could have been avoided.
“So we are still appealing to President Hichilema to hear and listen to the people he is governing,” Mr Mwanza said.