Thursday, June 20, 2024

We have repositioned the new ZAWA-Robinson

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Zambia Wildlife Authority Board Chairman Guy Robinson says the newly appointed board and interim management have managed to reposition ZAWA into an effective wildlife management body.

Mr. Robinson also revealed that ZAWA has secured a supplementary budget of Kr 39 million to help it offset some of the financial challenges it has faced over a long period of time.

“My Board and I, as well as my management team with the support of Tourism and Arts Minister Hon. Sylvia Masebo, we can now certainly and more ably realize the Authority’s full potential in the management of the wildlife sector,” Mr. Robinson said.

Mr. Robinson was speaking in Lusaka this morning during a ZAWA media breakfast.

“In the past 4 months, a number of visits have been carried out in the field by the Vice Chairman – Mr Mushibwe, by me and the Interim Director General of the Authority- Mr Xen Vlahakis, as well as by other members of the Board and its various specialist Committees. “

He said, “These field visits have been vital in order to fully appreciate the status of our operations, to assess the work being carried out in the commands, and to help boost staff morale which had sunk to an all-time low. We have and will continue to assure and support our key field personnel of the Authority’s unwavering commitment to their noble cause and individual well-being.”

Mr. Robinson announced that Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda has secured Kr 39 million supplementary budget to support the authority’s vital operational areas.

Mr. Robinson said the Ministry of Finance will be releasing the funds in tranches over a period of six months which will go towards the payment of balances due to the Community Resources Boards.

He said part of the funds will go towards payments for ongoing Wildlife Police Oficers salaries from January 2013 to date.

Mr. Robinson also revealed that the treasury has continued to support ZAWA through a monthly grant of Kr 394,000.

And Mr. Robinson says a number of senior management posts including that of the Director General will soon be advertised.

“Since a number of key senior posts have been held in an acting capacity – some for several years, it had been resolved by my Board that a number of senior management posts would be imminently advertised. As such, terms of reference have already been produced and these vacant posts shall be publicly advertised locally, regionally as well as internationally as necessary, in order to recruit the best possible candidates,” he said.

Mr. Robinson said advertised vacancies shall be inclusive of the pivotal role of Director General, under a revised hands-on conservation enforcement oriented organisational structure that places greater emphasis on the protected area system than on its bloated Chilanga headquarters.

He added, “I am pleased to report that all salaries have been paid up to date and that the Board has instructed management to ensure that all statutory dues are paid in full and that the previous debts for PAYE (pay-as-you-earn) with ZRA and NAPSA are not allowed to grow further.”

On Tourism Concession Agreements, Mr. Robinson said all tourism concession agreements are currently under review.

“A task team, headed by a member of my Board, is currently in the process of reviewing the structure and content of the TCA’s (tourism concession agreements) to form the basis for a more user-friendly legal document that meets the interests of the parties concerned, protects the independence of the regulator whilst reflecting the dynamics of the public-private partnership and public procurement processes.,” Mr. Robinson said.

He said the current TCA’s are not very pragmatic to investors, adding “we shall create a new platform in which both parties – ZAWA and the private sector can derive sustainable benefits, the ultimate objective of ensuring the renewability of our delicate resource base.”

On safari hunting licences, Mr. Robinson said of the 12 areas which, as at 01 January 2013, were still holding valid agreements with ZAWA, 2 hunting blocks have been repossessed due to persistent non-performance and serious breaches of the law.

“Of the remaining 10 hunting blocks which will operate in 2013, quotas have already been set. I must emphasize that such quotas exclude the hunting of big cats and elephants, which remain banned and this decision is supported by a statutory instrument to be issued and which gives this decision legal effect,” Mr. Robinson said.

4 COMMENTS

  1. The NEW ZAWA just shot and killed an elephant. Is this part of the new policy? Please do something, before we lose one of our precious resources!

  2. ni paseni nchito yanga mweo a ZAWA. mwenipisha nchito muliye nachifundo sure mwebantu. neo nikali mutonto kupezeka mungozi yo teti. ASata please ninveleleni koni chifundo please. ne iyiba lini neo. aninamizila tyala. kuliye zeni kucita soti. nifuta kuluta nakumunzi nikalime dimba tyala.

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