GOVERNMENT’S decision to lift the ban on hunting of lions and leopards is a sign of desperation to cover gaps in the fiscal position that has allegedly resulted from poor planning and budgeting, United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema has charged.
Last week, Minister of Tourism and Arts Jean Kapata announced the lifting of the ban on hunting of lions and leopards.
This is contained in a weekly policy issue availed to the media by Mr. Hichilema yesterday.
Mr. Hichilema said the move had sparked concern because the ban was meant to protect wildlife and the diminishing populations of big cats.
He charged that any decision to mortgage Zambia’s wildlife for immediate financial gain is short- sighted.
Mr. Hichilema said the first step in creating a viable and sustainable tourism industry in the country was by protecting wildlife and preserving natural resources.
Mr Hichilema said tourism was one of the greatest hopes for the future of the nation and if properly managed could create thousands of quality jobs that could earn the country billions of dollars.
The UPND leader said that once elected into power they would open up the tourism sector as a priority through combination of regulatory reforms, tax incentives and training initiatives.
He said the current training institutions were not very diverse in as far as the environment was concerned.
He further said the UPND would incentivize institutions of higher learning that would teach degree courses in tourism and hospitality.
He said Zambians were known for hospitability and all that was needed was to convert the natural gift into vocation and business advantage.
Last week Minister of Tourism and Arts Jean Kapata lifted the ban on hunting of lions and leopards which was enforced in January 2013.