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Alba Iulia
Thursday, May 19, 2022

670 ‘wildlife’ prisoners pardoned

General News 670 'wildlife' prisoners pardoned

PRESIDENT Sata has pardoned over 670 prisoners serving prison terms for mostly wildlife-related offences as an independence anniversary gesture of goodwill.

Mr Sata said he set the prisoners free because the MMD government had respected animals more than human beings by throwing hundreds of poor Zambians into prisons on minor offences.

He announced the pardon in his address to the nation yesterday on the eve of the 47th independence anniversary.

“When I dissolved the ZAWA (Zambia Wildlife Authority) board last week, I said this institution and the MMD government seemed to have respected animals more than human beings. As a result, a lot of poor people were imprisoned over minor wildlife-related offences.

“As we celebrate 47 years of our independence, I have extended a gesture of goodwill to these people by pardoning a total of 673 prisoners, majority of whom were jailed over these minor wildlife-related cases,” Mr Sata said.

President Sata announced the dissolution of the ZAWA board of directors at State House last Thursday.

He said a number of people were languishing in prisons over more wildlife-related cases than any other offences.

“There are certain institutions which have more respect for animals than human beings. I have today dissolved the ZAWA board, and I have to look at it, to reconstitute it.
“If you look at our prisons there are more people related to ZAWA than any other offence. We cannot run a country like that. God gave us animals for us to admire, and not animals to turn against us,” Mr Sata said.
He said this shortly after swearing in newly appointed Ministry of Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Peter Kasanda and his Public Service Management Division counterpart Roland Msiska.
[Zambia Daily Mail]


  1. ah there goes the tourism industry , Mr. Presdsident people visit zambia to watch the beautiful landscape and animals  if you remove the animals people will just go visit our neighbours….at least fine the people this 90 day thing is being taken too far  

  2. Indeed why overcrowd prisons unnecessarily.  People who have committed serious offences to warrant overcrowding are walking on the streets whilst the poor who may have needed income to pay for children’s school fees, quick money are being sent to prison. Poor prisoner God has answered your prayers today.

  3. Sata is wonderful, sensational human being. 673 is a huge number, but I believe there could be more, in Luapula the MMD government imprisoned many people over fishing from the lakes. Who cares if all fish is eaten and people become vegetarians? Bafumyeni bayama

  4. Plunderers are walking free while poor villagers caught will kalulu or rat are serving years in prison. Musokotwane with 1000 bicycles is walking free while a poor villager with a rats is in prison. How can you compare the two sure? RB’s wife existed as a ghost worker knowingly and syphoned millions of money, but a poor unemployed Villager with a peace of roast donkey is incarcerated for 18 months. A poor man bouncing a cheque is sent in for two years, but a minister with the same case is protected by simply creating a reasons why it bounced.
    All previous presidents only pardoned people with some profile. At last we have a president to look at the forgotten poor.

    God bless him and give him Solomon’s wisdom to lead this beautiful land.

  5. The current Zambia Wildlife Act was enacted in 1998 by parliament and therefore law which should be respected by every citizen. 

  6. Mu heart goes to all poor people who are jailed for commiting minor offenses in their quest to fend for their families while the so called apamwambas go scotfree. This is really a good move. Those saying tourism will be doomed are being one track minded as it will still florish with proper management without making animals more superior than human beings. Remember even in the bible God told Adam and Eve to be in control of animals.

  7. While the intention is welcome, the pronouncement that there is more respect of animals than human beings is just preposterous! It is like the president is giving a blank check to poaching, just like we are seeing wildcat strikes in various working places – on the premise of “more money in your pockets”. He should be careful especially that now he is president and not on an opposition platform making these pronouncements. MMD is no longer there, it is you now in the driving seat Mr. Sata, just don’t dent our conservation credentials and hurt tourism receipts. 

  8. When we as human beings make laws they ought to be respected by everyone. By stressing  the need to deliver justice irrespective of social stature we can correct the situation. We can now have both the apamwambas and the poachers in prison if they break the law. The pardon is a welcome gesture but the statement accompanying it amounts to shooting one’s self in the foot. Biodiversity ensures long-term sustainability of nature. The issue about human beings being more important than animals is generally based on religious beliefs which may turn out to be false. Human beings need the rest of living things including viruses in-order for life to be sustained. Why should we be the only country not worried about extermination of animal life. Should the Japanese deplete the population of sharks??

  9. Tourism is one of the fastest if not the fastest growing industry. How are we going to copete with other countries if poachers are left scot free. Mr President, please dont be too excited.

  10. Not sure what the President H.E MCS means by minor here. Trouble is what may be minor to him may not be to me. But then again I am not president.

    Do we have a system of monitoring these ex-convicts? The number is just too big and they stand a chance of re-offending. How much time have they served? We need to look after those animals or we will just be telling our children that we once had elephants, rhinos and stuff. What hates is to see them in countries they are not supposed to be.How about a Giraffe in the UK?

  11. I think everybody understands what Mr. Sata means. Lets not try to find excuses to apply semantics for the purpose of distorting what is being said. Not a LOWyer, behave.

  12. I agree with the bloggers on this forum. The gesture is good but the accompanying comments foul. We should be enhancing our protection of wildlife. I am not sure if humans are more important than animals

    • “I am not sure if humans are more important than animals”. You mean you do not know!! At the rate we are thinking, animals will kick us out of the cities. Do you know what RB did to the monkeys after they did what they did. Bundled them out of state house into captivity. Why cant villagers in Chama, Petauke and Mpika do the same

  13. Viva Sata, people languishing in jail for years for getting one duiker to feed their family is not right. Ba President please also free all those schoolchildren and villagers who have been jailed by the corrupt DEC for offences such as possession of one twist of chamba

  14. Well done mr president, this should also be extendent to people who ha stolen soaps and chickens from shoplite. The prisons were not built for people from townships who commit minor crimes.

  15. Some people do not deserve to be called humans i.e Poachers and Kaponya’s alike. 

  16. #13 (P)referably (F)lexible. I can remember no politician who is as forthright as Sata. He means what he says, I don’t see any semantic distortion in what a good number of people are saying. Simply put, he does not seem to see the value of animals in the parks – munani :-). I have been wondering why he always declares the 7 guns to the CJ. You are actually the one who is trying to wring out some optimism in the statement.

  17. Did you just wake up in the morning and decide to release  prisoners. Did you sit down and review every prisoners file to see what crime they committed; or did you blinded turn away from the implications that it might cause ie encouraging poaching and saying it’s ok to kill animals…. You are a danger to the economy and the people Mr MCS. I honestly believe that you will do and say anything to get people to like you………. I’m very concerned about the minds of people who support everything  you do. Some of these prisoners will go back to reoffend – you can’t put them back in prison if they do,  as you have clearly stated that no crime was committed by them. Sad decisions. You have no rational and balanced thinking.  …… I worry for Zambia……. So far no good……….. 

  18. HE MCS got this one wrong, I believe that such a move will promote poaching and our animals will be wiped out. Animals and human beings are equal and the animals have suffered a lot at the hands of us. We grab their habitats, slaughter them and drive them to extinction. Im sad!

  19. MCS hails from Mpika (Muchinga), an area rich in wildlife….. historically people from this area survive on wild meat and are naturally hunters now called poachers. Of those 673 the majority may be from Muchinga

  20. I agree with the President, on minor offences people should not be locked up for years especially villagers who should be allowed to eat from the game in their forest

  21. Indeed the president doesn’t understand the importance of Wildlife. My appeal is for the people around him to kindly educate him on these simple maters. Good bless Zambia

  22. Someone close to our president should tell him there is gross injustice to the animals in the stance he has taken. The animals would be rioting if they understood the implications of what our president is doing.

  23. Ubomba Muibala Kulya Muibala, Agree with the president some of the Crimes were very petty yet people prisoned for years. By the way License for game Meat are affordable. Buffalo =K2,300,000.00. Impalas K450,000 just that they never tell the people. You can buy starting from July??

  24. nacisuka it is now free for all.remove those game check points.very few zambians understand the importance of wildlife.bena munani inama shaba mu zoo.

  25. Those talking about kalulu, rats, these are not in the ZAWA Act, hence no offence for killing them. The Act is clear, other offences are finable, other you just pay admission of guilty, others are suspended sentences for being first offenders while other you go to jail. Those criminal where convicted by learned magistrate. Where are your advisers Mr President.

  26. Yes, Mr President we shouldn’t respect wild animals more than humans: but humans should respect Wildlife Conservation Parks if we are to a have sustainable tourism.Tourist pay $3000 just for the pleasure of seeing these animals…MCS should refrain from making such careless statements which may be misinterpreted to the man in the village.
    What is a minor offence in his book then?eh? using potent poisons for fishing, setting traps to catch wildlife, hunting big game like elephant for tusks..


  28. Our President is sending wrong signals. He must be seen to support anf promote tourism as one of the earners of foreign currency. Given Lubinda and his Zimbwabwean counterpart had just successfully won a stake to host international gathering linked to the Victoria Falls that is surrounded by national parks in Zambia and Zimbabwe. In fact when most pouchers are in operation they hold a dangeroous policy of shooting on site our dedicated men and women who protect wild animals in national parks. The President needs more wisdom and understanding of national issues. We hope the released pouchers have reformed.

  29. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism should not join the club that thrives of ka-Dingi- but must work hard to write fine essays on conservation of our natural resources for the President to read as he reluxes with his Dr. Kaseba.

  30. We must be very careful with what we read, did you read what Sata said towards the end
    “We cannot run a country like that. God gave us animals for us to admire…” he didnt say that God gave us animals to KILL but to admire. These guys who were mostly arested for poarching where not poarchers but were arrested for admiring the animals in the wild without persmission.

  31. “There are certain institutions which have more respect for animals than human beings” I want to believe the so called certain institution were enacted by acts of parliament and specifically designed to protect Zambia’s biodiversity and not human coz there are other laws to protect humans. ‘Destroy the ecosystem, destroy yourself’. It’s not the president nor us living today, but the future generation who will witness the result of the president’s actions.

  32. Sorry future generation for species yet to get into extinction, effects of global warming etc. you will experience coz of wrong decisions leaders make such as the one under discussion. I believe ZAWA officers risked their lives at the hands of armed poachers and that others were killed by the so called poachers who are now being protected and given freedom so that they can get into the boat. May God give wisdom to our leaders.

  33. I concur with #22. Mpika is well known for poaching. And I bet, the majority of the released poachers hail from there. If chance allows, request for the name list and you will see for yourself.

  34. I supported Sata but this is a very poor judgement. Environmental protection is part of our duty. What a mistake! I know he wants to be popular in rural areas but this is the wrong move.

  35. Most crimes against wild life were committed as a result of poverty. They were found killing animals to feed their families. What else would one do. You have Animals in the backyard, your children hungry and you have no money or job. Its a right move to pardon the mass of caring fathers who used their common sense to feed their families..

  36. True, even people who murdered just one person should be freed on this basis.

    The system has been ‘very corrupt’, Politicians get away with killing multitudes of people through failed policies but you find a person shoots or axes just one person dead they get imprisoned.

    Infact, on second thought, how about freeing all prisoners and starting afresh.

  37. The president clearly stated that people with minor offenses are languishing in prison. Unfortunately there are some people who intepret it as license to poach big games impunity and I dont think thats true. To me if i had a family to feed and it meant killing a wild pig to feed them, trust me thats a no brainer. When you have a full stomach its easy to start equating wild life to humans!

  38. WELL DONE MR. PRESIDENT: I know alot of people will misunderstand Sata’s logic on this one, but the truth is that ZAWA intentionally turned down most Zambians’ applications for official hunting licences but so easily issued the same to foreign tourists at exhorbitant charges to their own benefit. and intrying to reserve our animals and trophies more for foreigners than out own people, a lot of terror and fear had to instilled in the minds of Zambians by mercilessly jailing those that were accused of wildlife related cases. NOW, IS THAT WHAT TOURISM SHOULD BE TO OUR PEOPLE? WHAT ABOUT THE WIVES AND CHILDREN OF THESE PEOPLE WHO SUFFERED THE ANGUISH OF NOT LIVING WITH A HUSBAND OR FATHER JUST BECAUSE OF ZAWA’S CORRUPTION AND GREED?

  39. @48…yes I remember that story! a kama lozi chap (Im no tribalist btw but you know how strict they can be!) anyhow, the chap ordered the then minister mcs to open the boot for inspection suspecting he had a ka dingi in there. this led to a physical altercation (minister and the ka keen zawa guy actually rolling on the ground, gun in hand!) the guy wasnt having it…poacher ni poacher minister or not! part of the 90 days it seems is to settle old scores..even at the expense of national heritage and wildlife conservation…nothing comes btwn the cobra and his ‘dingi’!!!

  40. Tourism industry wil be affected,there wil be more poaching than ever before in our National parks & Game management areas.Tourist come to Zambia to watch our wildlife & hence zambia earns forex.The PF Government is already violating wildlife act number 12 of 1998.

  41. This is generating seriously bad headlines for Zambia around the world – even Mugabe hasn’t come out with such nonsense:(

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