Monday, May 20, 2024

Say No to Killing the Big Cats-HH


UPND's Hakainde Hichilema
UPND’s Hakainde Hichilema

United Party for National Development (UPND) President Hakainde Hichilema has said that the first step in creating a viable and sustainable tourism industry in Zambia is protecting the wildlife and preserving natural resources.

Mr Hichilema in his weekly policy issue said that allowing licensed killing of lions and leopards will deny future generations the opportunity to see these species.

He noted that government has also not addressed the issues raised by then Minister of Tourism Sylvia Masebo at the time he banned the hunting of lions such as corruption.

Below is the full policy issue

Say No to Killing the Big Cats

Last week, Hon. Jean Kapata, the Minister of Tourism and Arts, made an announcement that her Government had lifted the ban on hunting of lions and leopards. This is a direct reversal of their January 2013 position when they introduced the ban.

The move has understandably sparked concern because the ban was introduced for a reason; namely to protect our wildlife and the diminishing populations of big cats. The reversal is the latest sign of the desperation of the PF Government to try and cover gaps in the fiscal position that have resulted from its own poor planning and budgeting. It is also another classic reversal of one of their own policies.

These are endangered species of wild cats that are on the brink of extinction. Government figures claim we are privileged host to approximately 4,000 lions and 8,000 leopards. However, even these numbers are hard to substantiate if you compare them with a 2012 study conducted by researchers from Duke University using high-resolution imagery.

The study found 4 lions in the Liuwa Plains, less than 50 in Sioma Ngwezi, 386 in the Kafue National Park, less than 50 in Nsumbu and 575 in the Luangwa area sharing borders with Malawi. This translates to about 1,100 lions in the whole country, 3,000 less than the official figure. Numbers for these cats used to be much higher.

There are several reasons for the decline. They range from poaching, habitat loss and habitat fragmentation, to ill-advised government decisions such as the one Hon. Kapata has just made. But let us for a minute suppose the figures the Government is giving us are correct. Does that justify government-licensed killing of these animals? Is there a study that has been conducted that these animals need cropping? Have the issues that were raised by Hon. Sylvia Masebo, the Minister of Tourism and Arts at the time the ban was introduced, been addressed? The answer to all these questions is ‘NO’.

In 2013, the PF Government made a decision to ban the killing of the big cats. The reasons they stated then were that the killing of these animals was not benefitting local tourism. At the time we were doing this, Botswana also banned the hunting of the big cats, a decision that was applauded by most conservationists.

It was proved that Zambia and its southern neighbour make more money from photographers that follow these animals, than from hunters. It is not rocket science to know that a lion or leopard can be shot by a camera a million times, while it just needs one shot from a gun and it will be dead.

There is great value in promoting tourism using our God-given comparative advantage. Any decision to mortgage our wildlife for immediate financial gain is short-sighted. Our emerging tourism sector is one of our greatest hopes for the future of our nation and, if properly managed, could create thousands of good quality jobs and earn this country billions of dollars. In the Seychelles, 15 % of the formal workforce is directly employed by the tourism industry.

The contribution to that country’s GDP from tourism is about 50%. Mauritius, earned $1.35 billion form tourism in 2013 and nearer home, 12% of the $36 billion GDP in Botswana comes from tourism. The potential to grow our tourism industry is great. What we lack is political will and a realization that tourism could actually earn us more money than the mines. A lot more of our people could participate in a tourism-led economy because unlike mining, it requires less specialized personnel and equipment.

These big cats attract tourists into Zambia in addition to the spectacular and magnificent Victoria Falls. A tourist’s concern when choosing a destination is value for money. Value for money means a tourist who pays the same airfare to country X as they would to come to Zambia will look at what they can get from both countries.

This is the advantage Zambia has; we possess unique attractions such as wildlife in its natural habitat, which you cannot find elsewhere. Lions, elephants, leopards, cheetahs and other animals contribute to that uniqueness. These are the animals Hon. Kapata wants dead.

The first step in creating a viable and sustainable tourism industry in Zambia is protecting our wildlife and preserving our natural resources. If we allow the proposal from Hon. Jean Kapata of licensing killing of our game to go ahead we have to ask ourselves what will our children and grandchildren think of us when their only opportunity to see lions and leopards will be on video and pictures?

Posterity is less of a problem, the question is why these drastic measures and change of heart? The reason is simple: this Government is broke, they are scrounging for money from anywhere to meet their obligations after having borrowed heavily.

Hon. Kapata wants us to believe that the Ministry of Tourism and Arts developed a mechanism that will help identify frail and elderly animals to be killed, that is laughable. She represents a government that fails to do stock taking for drugs in hospitals meant for humans, how will they effectively monitor the vast areas in the wilderness and determine which animals to kill? How are they going to guarantee that poachers with fake hunting licenses will not abuse the system?

What about the corruption that Hon. Masebo mentioned when she banned the hunting in 2013? Has the legal framework been amended? These are questions Hon. Kapata needs to answer.

It is our belief that the animals in the game park belong to all Zambians. As such, the benefits accrued from revenue generated from proper game management should be spread to all Zambians, living and yet to be born. We also place great value on the potential for opening the tourism sector up to create much need jobs and revenues.

When in government, the UPND will, among other things:

1. Encourage wildlife conservation. The aim of this will be to protect animals and their habitat for posterity. One of the ways to discourage poaching is to offer people alternative livelihoods, as has been done by COMACO who have effectively addressed the issue of poaching in South Luangwa.

2. Open up the tourism sector as a priority, through a combination of regulatory reforms, tax incentives and training initiatives, such as reduced or zero-rated VAT.

3. Review visa requirements so as to encourage more tourist arrivals. We have prohibitive and unpredictable visa requirements for tourists in this country and that discourages patronage.

4. Enhance training and research in ecosystems. Our training institutions are not very diverse in as far as the environment is concerned.

5. Incentivize institutions of higher learning that will teach degree courses in Tourism and Hospitality. Zambians are known for being very hospitable people; all we need now is to convert our natural gift into a vocation and business advantage.

Compatriots, let us protect that which God has given us. We know that PF has borrowed heavily and they barely have breathing space.

They are desperate for get money from any possible source, this is the reason they are going after poor tenants with their withholding tax, lifting bans even without addressing the cause of the ban in the first place, because they want to lay their hands on every Ngwee before they can take a revised budget to parliament.

The truth of the matter is that the Zambian Government is broke, not because there is no money in the country but because of mismanagement.

Hakainde Hichilema
UPND President

“Together, we can”


  1. Most tourists want to see a Live Lion or Leopard when visiting a Game Park, why Kill them?? I agree with HH on this!

    • Finally a breath of fresh air. Now can you compare this statement from HH to the One Party Rhetoric from Davies Chama and tell me which of the two is scaring foreign investors?

    • Zambian women die and are maimed from domestic violence everyday. I have not seen any petitions going around to stand up for domestic violence and help victims and persecute perps. Do we value animals over women?

    • Animal triming is done in all countries that understand control. This happens in Kenya and South African national parks once every 10 or 15 years.

      This is done to control big cats and elephants when they become over populated and people’s lives are at high risk.

      The question is:

      Does Zambia have enough big cats to justify Jean Kapita ‘ decision to allow hunting for pleasure by tourists?

      The biggest risk will be allowing China Man to exploit our resources due to Aphrodisiac demands in China.

      Has PF really done a good research and count of the big cats.

    • These species including other animals should be protected at all costs. Zambia twasebana. Nothing is making any sense anymore on some of the decisions being taken by this government without consultation with professionals and the Zambian people.. HH4K16

    • For the first time in a long time, HH you have sounded reasonable and mature in your criticism. This is how opposition politics should be practiced—NO LOW BLOWS OR PETTINESS BUT STRAIGHT TO THE POINT WITH THE SERIOUSNESS THE TOPIC REQUIRES. I say Kudos on this one HH!

      I totally agree that Minister of Tourism Jean Kapata’s reasons for the policy reversal do NOT make any sense. I think the best thing to do is take this issue to Parliament and let the mechanisms she speaks of be looked at by more than a few eyes and see if they are adequate. She may have powers to do this as Minister of tourism, but this is such a consequential policy change which requires National consensus. Hunting is what brought the American wild Buffalo to the brink of extinction—be careful Jean!

    • For the first time the serial election loser (SEL) has come up with an alternative.

      This is what we need in our country other than just oppose, oppose and oppose because you are in opposition.

      now we can dissect the viability of your policy on on tourism generally and big cats in particular.

    • It is decisions such as this that make our Govt leaders seem and sound out of touch and heartless. A Lion or Leopard is worthy more alive than dead. A dead Lion will bring in say $15, 000 (if that), but a live one can bring in many folds that amount over its life time.

      Let Zambia be known as a country where BIG CATS roam like nature intended and watch how many visitors will be willing to pay handsomely, over and over, to come to Zambia and “shoot” those big cats with their cameras. This is the only sustainable and prudent way of creating sustainable jobs.

      If we paid more attention to tourism infrastructure the way Zambian politicians do with politics, tourism would be a billion dollar industry by now. Let us think long term in formulating some of these policies!

    • ***** kandolo…so all you c z hate mwana wagalu wewo …pliz get a life you fool pipo are civilised now..

  2. I agree with HH on this one though I don’t remember him commending the government at the time of the ban. Being in opposition does not mean you oppose everything the government does. Equally being in government does not mean you’re the sole custodian of good ideas or wisdom.

  3. it called animal control ba HH. Other wise they start killing pipo. And some issues tell yo junior to comment on u seem naive if do it yoself.

    • This write up was done by someone, not HH. The language and analysis in the report clearly shows that it was done someone with a lot of wildlife experience and knowledge. Anyway congratulations HH for putting your name at the bottom.

  4. Why should Jean Kapata decide to murder old frail lions? Would it be okay for us to start killing people off for organs in Zambia because they are old are frail? Social sustainability means living within our means and not at the expense of lions and leopards. Environmental sustainability focuses upon stewardship of resources and managing and conserving the environment, and will involve the notion of ‘limits to growth’. Sustainable development from the Bruntland report (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987), defines sustainable development as ‘a process that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’. It is impossible to separate economic development with environmental and social sustainability.

  5. Many tourists will shun Zambia because of the negativity connected with hunting, especially big cats. The scenario is very simple, tourist numbers drop & the poor in the areas frequented suffer. You lift hunting bans & a few elite make a quick buck. We all know how this things work, why should the entire country pay for a few to benefit? Is this PF policy as most loans also accrued don’t seem to be benefiting the majority? The government should revisit the lifting of the ban urgently, big cats in Zambia don’t amount to figures given by the Minister, far less. Why should a foreigner come, pay a ranch or lodge owner sum of $100,000- for a lion/leopard & how much does the country at large benefit? C’mon guys, don’t destroy the country! The Mukula tree, mostly cadres & now big game…

  6. At the heart of the Bruntland Commission’s concept of sustainable development was the apparent paradox between economic development and environmental quality. They stated that sustainable development should address the maintenance of ecological integrity & diversity, meet basic human needs, address the needs of future generations, reduce injustice and increase self-determination. These are the early bases for the later UN MDGs (Millennium Development Goals). Zambians want tourism that can occur in a spatial unit without doing serious harm to the natural, economic and social-cultural elements at a destination. Tourism must take full account of its current & future economic, social & environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host community.

  7. Actually av just come from luangwa national park were I went for safari I stayed there for 3days and had six game drives night and day everyone was looking for lions but never saw any its true lions are extinct just imagine about 15 safari cars scattered in diff direction but all invain

  8. I am totally behind HH on this one. Leave the lions and find other ways of empowering the economy.

    Get innovative and start manufacturing local products that people really need instead of looking for easy money at the expense of the nation’s priceless wildlife.

    We say No to trigger happy tourists who think that Africa is for sale. Keep your money and we will keep our animals.

  9. The PF is heading in the wrong direction on this topic. Other countries are conserving and they want to finish off the big cats? heaven help us. By the time PF finish in this country, there will be no minerals and tourism will have died too and you people lock up people for killing a small dieker for meat? Kapata should be put in a cage in a zoo.

    • they have been driving us in the wrong direction from 2011 my dear and very soon most of us will plunge into the ditch.

  10. HH is not the originator of this condemnation of killing of big cats in the country! It is all over including foreign media like BBC. As such he cannot get credit for it! He is just jumping on a bandwagon! Am yet to hear his original ideas!

    • He may not be the originator but when he’s right, he is right. The government is overlooking something ethically wrong and very critical to Zambia’s future.

      I shudder to think of leaders who have no sense of value for the beautiful animals we have and allow them to be killed at will. This Kapata is not even worth being called “Honourable”, much less “Minister of Tourism”. What is his ministry worth if it cannot protect the animals against the poachers?

    • I am proud to jump on this selfsame bandwagon….I am a Zambian national and I’m not going to let some illiterate utterly dull silly woman you call minister dictate policy with no concrete research or justified cause…whilst her weak boss drinks beer and spirits in State House oblivious to what is going on. I am not going to sit on my hands like your docile self …people like you will only get off their bums when their is pointless protest about increase of DSTV prices.

    • “…..of the ways to discourage poaching is to offer people alternative livelihoods……”

      I believe an alternative could be training “poachers” to be tour guides that could be hired at a fee. No one knows better the wildlife terrain than he “poacher” thus they would be very effective guides.

    • You seem to be a very dull muntu..if he shares the same ideas with the rest does it mean that he is not entitled to comment on issues affecting us.kamukomena nomuziima

  11. He has already been informed by his informers that government is considering rethinking its decisions on the big cats.

    Why has it taken him so long to make this statement. He was waiting to hear something from government and run ahead of it to make a statement.

    This song has been played so many times, it is now tuneless.

  12. All you condemning HH, where were you when they lifted the ban did you fight for animal rights? You’re all pathetic at least he is taking a stand whether you like it or not. Did you fight your so called Jean Kapata’s decision to auction your wildlife to the highest bidder? I think not! So stop pointing fingers and get on the band wagon and start singing conservation and protection. Tourism is supposed to alleviate poverty and create jobs but because of mismanagement and pocketing of tourism resources is the reason we are in this mess. She has run out of ideas because she is not fit to be in this job and has no qualifications nor education. There are many ways of promoting tourism but she has hit the red light on this one and stuck without a vision or leadership skills. Stop the killing!

    • No qualifications nor education…..I thought she has a nurse’s qualification or am I mistaken? Though I agree that as Tourism minister she is a misplacement!

  13. At least we know where this man Hichilema stands, he has articulately given his position and reasons meanwhile the dull minister Kapita is hallucinating nonsensical reasons for justifying trophy-hunting with absolutely no backup figures whatsoever of a headcount of big cats on the ground.

    Madam Edith Nawakwi and Mr Elias Chipimo Jr..what is your position on this; we know you read these comments.

    • Jay Jay! When I say HH is not the originator of this vehement condemnation is because am aware that you are the one who posted the petition on this site last we. Look through that petition and see various comments that were posted by the petitioners, you will see what I mean that this man have not given us anything new! Where was he when the ban lifting was being pronounced? We are not all in support of it but don’t make it look as though HH have come up with some novel idea when he just puts together what others have already said! Even if you are ardent follower of the guy do not be blinded, we want to see originality in his thinking, his statements and not lifted ideas from somewhere! This is what most often make me think that giving this man presidency will just expose his inadequacy.

    • Kabulo-Muleya, well said sir. I find the same problem with our friends. As I said earlier, when this matter came out, HH was silent. But after many people have commented and maybe he has now been given some inside information of further government action, he gets very busy. He hijacks the whole thing to look like he started it.

      Unfortunately those who support him, also want to make it look like HH started the talks. When will this man learn to be original. For me I find it hard to understand why he cannot act like an original politician.

      Plagiarism has contaminated him. He needs some anti-detox.

  14. Greed makes men do crazy things. The logic of this policy is not any different from promoting sex tourism and allowing foreign men to sleep with young Zambia girls for a fee in order to collect revenue to protect Zambian girls from sex trafficking. It’s a circular logic that’s wack.

  15. Tourism multiplier effect is based on tourism expenditure at a destination increases the income of the destination by an amount greater than that which was originally spent. In other words, expenditure ‘multiplies’ as it circulates around a destination. This is known as the ‘multiplier effect’. In other words, an income multiplier of $1.5 means for every $10 spent at a destination by the tourist, $15 will be generated as the tourist initially pays for accommodation, the hoteliers themselves purchase food and other services and their suppliers pay out wage, rent, etc. to stay in business. Direct Effects-actual expenditure or jobs being created by spending on commodities. Induced Effects-hotels pay companies to clean linen in turn generate jobs. Induced-income, jobs & government…

  16. This devil worshiper will never support the govt of the day. I have never heard him say one good thing about PF. being in opposition does not mean you criticize the government of the day always. You HH ndiwe Chikute maningi

    • Can I remind Yabaa that behind an efficient CEO, there is a selected team of trained assistants. The idea may have come from HH but given to the writer to put it professionally.

    • Ba Mwanza mazi eenu…bu foontini bwanu…that’s why muvala jacket a ma DH canvass. Ni devil worshiper wa ANYOKO….IF u want him to marry yo nyoko just call me on 090213445

  17. PF Cadres will support any nonsense coming from their leadership in the name of patriotism to their Patriotic Front. At this rate, Zambia will br worse than Somalia in 30 years.

  18. This man Mentioned posterity Measures and valuing or rather preserving Natural resources for future Zambia. Again, the issues that were raised by honorable Masebo in her initial ban on killing Big CATS have not been resolved here it looks like to me. What’s plan do we have for the revenues that will be collected from the killings?

  19. Those opposing HH please write a sensible comment about this decision whether you are for it or against it. Since you claim he is using borrowed terms, please go ahead and come up with your own fresh innovation. You can start off by saying since HH is using borrowed terms, my fresh new addition is…! Regardless of whether it is new or not, it is raising awareness which most people shy away from. He many not be your favourite but let’s hold hands on this one and defend mother Zambia, its present and future generations from the economic mess the PF government is going to further inflict by them being the cause of the extinction our our exotic pets all because they support one another even if the decision is a terrible one. Poverty does this, they will support one another no matter what!

  20. Can I remind Yabaa that behind an efficient CEO, there is a selected team of trained assistants. The idea may have come from HH but given to the writer to put it professionally.


  22. Nyambe S. That lion is the one paying your salary through the induced effects of the multiplier effects from tourism that gets injected into the Zambian economy. It is people managing tourism that are misusing the revenue due to poor revenue management. That money spent by a tourist goes towards hotel accommodation making hotels pay peoples salaries. When the hotel buys food from local farmers the farmers used that money to buy fertilizer and pay employees. Then the money gets injected into the Zambian economy allowing the government to pay it’s employees. So be careful with your words. Without that lion you will have no job or food on your plate. This is what the government or people managing the tourism sector will not educate you about and simply say they are going after old lions.

  23. For me, HH scored major on this issue. It means that he at least feels and listens to what most of us feel. Yes, we posted comments condemning the Government on this issue, and what did the Government officials do; they justified the action. Very evil people who have no regard for others. No wonder the Lord will burn this earth.

    HH has raised very important points, for instance, “Hon. Kapata wants us to believe that the Ministry of Tourism and Arts developed a mechanism that will help identify frail and elderly animals to be killed, that is laughable. She represents a government that fails to do stock taking for drugs in hospitals meant for humans, how will they effectively monitor the vast areas in the wilderness and determine which animals to kill?…”

  24. HH needs better ideas than siding with the Green Party and South African hunting interests who would love Zambia to ban all hunting and stop taking even any tiny amount of hunting or photographic safari business away from them.

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