Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Riotous villagers loot Mpondo Camp, accuses ZAWA officers of negligence after Elephant kills woman


Burnt down houses by rioters
Burnt down houses by rioters

The Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) says it is saddened by the recent tragic incident at Mpondo Camp in Mpika where villagers of Fulaza village in Musalangu Game Management Area rioted and destroyed the camp after a woman of the same village was killed by an elephant.

And ZAWA has urged people living in Game Management Areas to take extra caution and responsibility as the areas they are living in are primarily reserved for sustainable wildlife development and conservation.

ZAWA Communications and Public Relations Officer Mwila Muliyunda said the rioters looted and burnt down Mpondo Camp after accusing ZAWA officers of negligence and of being responsible for the death of a woman killed by an elephant while she was working in her field.

Ms. Muliyunda explained that the villagers forced ZAWA officers who had gone to repatriate the body of the woman for burial to take the body to the camp where a riot ensued and equipment as well as infrastructure wealth more than K95,000 was destroyed in the process.

She said the officers managed to whisk their families to safety before the riotous mob who burnt down the radio house to prevent officers from calling for back up could descended on them living behind their belongs in their tents which the mob looted before burning their tents

“On May 24, 2014, rioters burnt and looted Pondo Camp, accusing ZAWA officers of being responsible for the death of a resident of Fulaza village in Musalangu Game Management Area, after she was tragically killed by an elephant, while working in her field. ZAWA officers were immediately alerted to assist at the scene, and to facilitate the repatriation of the body to Mpondo Village for burial.

On arrival, a mob of villagers confronted the officers blaming them for her death. They then instructed that the body be taken to Mpondo camp, where a riot was started and the entire camp attacked. To prevent the officers from calling for help,the rioters burnt down the radio room and thereafter targeted the Village Game Scout houses, razing six of them to the ground. ZAWA equipment and personal belongings were looted and stolen.

Fortunately, the Game Scouts quickly managed to get their families out of the camp and hid them, and none of them were hurt.”

Meanwhile Ms. Muliyunda says though people are not prohibited to live in GMAs, communities living in these areas should realize that these lands are primarily meant for sustainable development and conservation of wild life hence should be more responsible and alert as they take care of their families as well as themselves.

“ZAWA is saddened by the loss of life and would like to re-emphasize the importance of communities living in these areas to be constantly cautious, alert and take personal responsibility in protecting themselves and their families.

ZAWA’s role is unique and complex and despite limited resources,our officers have to juggle to protect these communities from dangerous wildlife, while at the same time, ensuring that the animals are protected from human hostility and abuse, although we are not oblivious to cases where animals do stray into nearby communities, causing the frequent human-wildlife encounters.”

Mpondo Camp, which is located in East Musalangu Game Management Area (GMA) is strategically located to tackle the poaching threat in Chama District and on the North-Eastern border of North Luangwa National Park, which is home to Zambia’s only black rhino population.

And Ms Muliyunda said her institution together with its partner the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS), which manages North Luangwa National Park,is scouting for over K95000 to replace the infrastructure and equipment which was destroyed during the riot.

11 eleven people have since been arrested and are detained in Mpika remand prison facing criminal charges.

This is contained in a press release released to the media by ZAWA Communications and Public Relations Officer Mwila Muliyunda.

Burnt down houses by rioters
Burnt down houses by rioters
Burnt down houses by rioters
Burnt down houses by rioters


  1. I wonder why ZAWA always protects the animals prior to human life?Finamafye ifi,Umuntu muntu.Most of these animals you protecting are ment for kebabs.Human life should preced animal life.

    • Not so sure about that… and people riot to burn other people’s houses and not going after elephants for revenge?

    • ZAWA hasn’t been helpful when it comes to protecting human life. If i lived in these areas and my relative is attacked, i will kill any animal around regardless of weather it participated in the attack or not. If ZAWA comes to arrest, slaughter them next to the cacus. These people don’t even see a coin realised from tourism and i bet, they drink water from the same pond with animals, and no tap water or electricity. Looking the the picture, there is no way such facilities can exist. Useless Zawa.

  2. @Chief of Grief

    Yashani iyo abena? Amano kwati mwaiche sure? Apomupelele you still don’t know the value of wild animals to human life or national economy? Was it ZAWA’s fault for the woman to be killed by an elephant? On top of that, this is an already extremely poor area of Zambia…if ZAWA pulls out of that area they will not see the government there for years. The villagers will probably poach and eat all the animals and then in the end all die from starvation. Ignorance muma Zambians taipwa, no matter how educated. Zambians just talk too much, complain noisily a lot like mosquitoes, and yet do nothing apart from drinking and sex and catch diseases. These villagers need arresting and thrown into jail.

    • @ Mwembeshi the govt doesn’t know these people. Just look at the picture, does this area look like it has a clinic, water, electricity etc? They have never seen govt before and it wouldn’t make a difference if they pulled out. If anything, it will benefit them without ZAWA.

    • Iwe Mwembeshi?How much forex ‘re you even yielding from that area anyway?Yes amnot disputing about wildlife and sh****t!!All i care about is humanlife kwasila.If i may ask, wats the annual turn over for the tourism sector thats more valueable than human life?School me,i think u’r “learnerd”.

  3. This woman Muliyunda is wicked and a pure ar.se!! She is more concerned about the property worth peanuts, K95,000 than human life and the livelihood of the villagers!
    She hasnt even said what ZAWA will do to help the familty of the deceased but only concerned about the ZAWA’s lousy compound.
    Where is Public Relations taking ZAWA to? People should now take care of themselves and start killing these ZAWA imbeciles that are protecting animals more than people! This is SH.IT and Muliyunda is big SH.IT really!

    • @Chilyata

      What are you arsing about? What has Muliyunda done? These villagers live in a game management area, NOT a game park – there is a difference, in case you don’t know. It is up to the villagers to look after themselves. Will ZAWA manage to protect everybody who lives near a hole full of rats all over Zambia? ZAWA is there to protect animals from irresponsible people, not to protect villagers from animals. It is not ZAWA’s responsibility to advise people to live their lives in their own villages! What sort of nonsense is that? You mean if you see an elephant you can’t run unless a ZAWA officer says so? And yet you always go out to poach without informing ZAWA!! ZAWA is perfectly fine, they should charge those villagers and jail them for destroying government property.

  4. It is not zawa that killed the woman it is the elephant why attack zawa and not the animal , people need to take care of their owns lives , infact they know the area they live in has dangerous animals ,so need to be carefull , as for muliyunda I for one canot condemn her I even see that she is polite with her use of words .

  5. It is sad to hear of the loss of human life but attacking ZAWA will not bring here back, village scouts are employed to look after wildlife and are recruited from the same communities. without wildlife even these few jobs would not exist. I am sad to see people above inciting others to attack ZAWA. Of course human life is more valuable but these things do happen. look at our Southern neigbours…Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, South Africa….all have created an ecomony that relies on widlife nad have seen huge benefits. if Zambians really have no value for wildlife then we are foolishly throwing away a valuable ecomnomic driver and it will be our loss, and their gain. Zambia wake up to the potential goldmine that is widlife, a resource that will replinish itself forever unlike copper.

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