Chiefs in Nyimba have complained that the ban on issuance of hunting licenses has led to increased poaching activities in the district.
Senior Chiefs Nyalugwe and Lwembe disclosed their concern when Eastern province Permanent Secretary Dr Chileshe Mulenga paid a courtesy call on them yesterday, saying they have seen an increase in poachers, a situation they observed has posed a threat to wildlife.
Senior chief Lwembe stated that the ban on the issuance of hunting licenses has opened doors to poachers who he said are killing animals indiscriminately saying this could lead to the depletion of some wild animals.
He observed that professional hunters usually hunt selectively and conserve wildlife while poachers do not care even if their activities lead to the extinct of some animals.
Senior chief Lwembe also noted that the ban on issuance of the licenses has negatively affected the revenue base for Community Resource Boards (CRB).
And Senior chief Nyalugwe complained that the CRBs have not been able to raise enough resources to pay village scouts.
Senior chief Naylugwe noted that the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) does not have adequate manpower saying the village scouts who he said get their monthly incomes from the CRBs could not carry their duties due to lack of funds to pay their dues.
He stated that some village scouts have resorted to poaching as opposed to protecting wildlife.
He appealed to government to incorporate the village scouts into ZAWA because the authority is understaffed and the village scouts do the work for the organization.
The traditional leader stressed the need for government to quickly resolve the matter as it will affect the country’s growing tourism industry.
And Dr Chileshe expressed hope that the matter would be resolved next year.
He assured the traditional leaders that he has taken note of their concerns and stated that the Ministry of Tourism is capable of addressing them.