The Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) has been in the process of engaging community members who encroached upon Mumbwa Game Management Area for the past two years. This process was not handled by ZAWA alone but with the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) in the office of the Vice President.
Local communities are allowed to live in GMAs but are required to settle according to the provisions of the General Management Plan (GMP) – which is part of the Law.
Through the process of negotiations and community sensitization, community members agreed to be resettled. The process of resettling the people started on Wednesday August 26, 2015 and is expected comes to an end on Tuesday September 1, 2015 as most of the farmers have found alternative land on which to settle.
Some farmers are going back to their places of origin mostly in Southern Province where they left other farmlands, while others especially the young and energetic are progressing to Kasempa and Mufunta GMA.
ZAWA will soon be making follow-up to advice the chiefs like Kahare and Kasempa where these people are re-locating to advise them on how best to settle them.
ZAWA would like to correct the impression created by certain quarters that the authority had prematurely evicted and terrorized the squatters by burning their houses.
We would like to inform the public that the farmers occupied make-shift structures some of which ZAWA are burning down after the occupants had moved out to deter poachers from using these unoccupied structures as hide-outs.
ZAWA has a mandate to manage wildlife and as a government authority has a human face and the people who are shifting from the GMA have not lost a single piece of property. The people being relocated can confirm that.
Sakabilo Kalembwe (Zacks)
Public Relations Officer