Tourism and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo is angry that high levels of corruption at ZAWA have resulted in some foreigners illegally airlifting Zambia’s wildlife undetected.
“This is unacceptable, planes are flying in without any detection and getting our animals. This is revenue we are losing as a nation and yet a few corrupt officials are benefitting,” Mrs. Masebo charged.
Mrs. Masebo said she will fire some more people at ZAWA suspected of corruption following the sacking of Director General Edwin Matokwani and four other senior officers.
She said she will not tolerate corruption in the management of the wildlife sub sector and urged Zambians to take an interest in protecting the country’s wildlife resources.
“I challenge you Journalists, go and visit these game parks and find out what is going on. Some foreigners are taking advantage of us and they are stealing from us. You should be concerned as Zambians.”
Mrs. Masebo also defended her decision to fire the ZAWA officials without any prior notice.
She added. “Sometimes in life you need to move faster than your rivals or you will be double timed. I choose to use a short process because the sacking of those was long overdue. I have received over 300 text messages and 200 calls from people saying the decision was overdue.
I am sure there are other avenues they can pursue if they are aggrieved but they are not the only one, many more will go very soon.
Mrs. Masebo maintained that the sacked team at ZAWA plundered the country’s wildlife sector.
Meanwhile, Ms Masebo has disclosed that government will spend a total of K41 billion for the construction of the modern intercity bus terminus in Livingstone.
And Ms Masebo says Zambia is more than ready to co host this year’s United Nations World Tourism Organization Conference (UNWTO) to take place in the Tourist capital Livingstone.
The Tourism Minister has disclosed that government will spent a total of K96 billion for the overhaul of Kazungula one stop boarder post.
She said the tendering processes for the two major projects are underway and will begin by the end of this month after discussions with the relevant authorities.
Speaking at a media briefing in Lusaka today, the minister expressed happiness with the pace at which various projects are being undertaken in Livingstone ahead of the UNWTO conference.
Ms Masebo said government is committed to ensure that Livingstone has ultra modern facilities for the successful hosting of the conference.
She also said the commissioning of the new departure terminal building at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula international airport will be announced while the construction of the arrival terminal is progressing well.
Ms. Masebo has also disclosed that visas between the two hosting cities of Livingstone and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe will be granted to the delegates free of charge.
And Ms Masebo has called on artists in the country to be creative and assist market the country before, during and after the UNWTO conference.