THE Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) wishes to clear the atmosphere created by Mushingashi Conservancy management that thirty (30) elephants have been lost over the past six (6) months without the Authority’s support. It must be noted first and foremost that Mushingashi Conservancy is a private wildlife estate in the Mumbwa District of the Republic of Zambia who are tasked to look after game animals resident on their property for and on behalf of the State since it borders the Kafue National Park. ZAWA’s mandate is to look after the public wildlife estate that comprises National Parks, Game Management Areas and open areas with wildlife where there are no private sector partners.
ZAWA is fully aware of the scourge of elephant poaching which has hit the African continent and ZAWA has positioned itself to respond to this scourge even with the minimal resources available to it. ZAWA takes elephant poaching reports seriously and that is why ZAWA responds to incidences of poaching once a report is made even despite the fact that some reports come from private wildlife estates. It is therefore expected that any elephant poaching incidents on open game ranches such as Mushingashi Conservancy are supposed to be reported to ZAWA immediately so that law enforcement activities are reinforced to prevent further poaching.
ZAWA is left wondering why an area which has such facilities claim to have lost so many elephants without reporting on time such incidences to our ZAWA Mumbwa office but opted to circulate pictures of carcasses on social media in a quest to appeal for funds for law enforcement on their game ranch without first reporting to ZAWA.
It is disappointing that Mushingashi Conservancy which is located approximately 60 km from our Mumbwa office and has radio communication, email, phone connectivity and vehicles has deliberately decided not to report to ZAWA on the poaching incidences on their game ranch when they are required by law to do so. Further, Mushingashi Conservancy boasts to have seventy (70) scouts equipped with radio communication and equipment needed to fight poaching. ZAWA is left wondering why an area which has such facilities claim to have lost so many elephants without reporting on time such incidences to our ZAWA Mumbwa office but opted to circulate pictures of carcasses on social media in a quest to appeal for funds for law enforcement on their game ranch without first reporting to ZAWA.
We are aware that Mushingashi Conservancy is having financial challenges and are failing to support law enforcement operations on their game ranch. And this is the reason why ZAWA has now opened a wildlife police camp on Mushingashi Conservancy to contain the poaching on this private game ranch which borders the northern part of the Kafue National Park.
ZAWA would like to caution management at Mushingashi Conservancy to conduct its operations in a proper manner without bringing the name of ZAWA into odium, disrepute and ridicule. Therefore, Mushingashi Conservancy should not blame ZAWA for its shortcomings and its failure to adequately provide security for the wildlife found on their property.
As a result of this crisis at Mushingashi Conservancy and in the interest of good game management, ZAWA shall not issue any further resident or non-resident hunting licences to Mushingashi Conservancy until such a time that Mushingashi shows capacity to manage its own affairs.