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Zambia arms wildlife police; declares ‘war’ on poaching & clamps down on hunting

22/09/2012 13:57:00

Wildlife is one of Zambia's major resources, and the government plan to protect it.

Poaching and hunting clamp down in Zambia
September 2012. Sylvia Masebo, Zambia's Minister of Tourism, has declared ‘war' on poachers as she announced the arming of wildlife police before the end of this year.

Ms. Masebo announced the arming of police when she commissioned the new uniform for ZAWA officers at Chunga Wildlife Training School in the Kafue National Park. The minister also announced that they will be reviewing hunting licenses and clamping down on the abuse of ‘special licences'.

Ms Masebo, who donned the new ZAWA combat uniform said, "I am declaring war against poaching. ZAWA officers will deal sternly with wildlife crime. We must give value to our animals just like we give value to humans. Wildlife is not just for eating. It's a resource that could improve our country's economy. We will get you fire-arms before the end of the year. ZAWA officers have been killed on a number of occasions by ruthless poachers in remote areas," she said.

Ms Masebo said the economic value of wildlife can only be realised if the natural resource is preserved and protected.

"The government is committed to developing tourism, and wildlife is a cornerstone of this sector," she said.

And Ms Masebo said like Minister of Home Affairs Edgar Lungu, she does not want anyone to go to her office to lobby for special licences.

"And to my friends, please don't come to my office to ask for special hunting licences. Those are for traditional leaders during ceremonies," she said.

Poaching a threat to national security
Speaking earlier, Lieutenant General Mihova said Zambia has become a poaching hot spot.
General Mihova, who is also the chairperson for the Central Joint Operations Committee (a grouping of defence and security wings in the country), said poaching poses a threat to national security.

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