PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu deserved a pat on the back for directing defence minister Richwell Siamunene to join the war against poaching to promote tourism, says travel and tourism consultant Ricky Sichone.
Mr Sichone said it would be nice for Zambia to learn from Botswana which uses the defence force to protect wildlife, following rampant killing of wildlife. Mr Sichone said the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) should put its house in order so that they were capable of protecting the country’s wildlife, saying poaching was creeping on in the tourism industry.
He said the involvement of the defence forces was the best ever measure the President had taken, to curb poaching without delay as a way of conserving wildlife in Zambia.
“ZAWA must put their house in order to stop the cancer that is creeping in our tourism industry,” he said. Mr Sichone said Zambia was mainly eco tourism business and ZAWA appeared to be giving animal protection minimal attention.
“The President should be commended for intervening in this issue of poaching and that it is possible to use the efforts of the defence forces to protect our wildlife like it is done in other countries like Botswana to ensure economic growth of the nation,” he said.
Mr Sichone said poaching was on the increase because there was no order, adding that such had become a source of worry that the country would be left without wildlife.
He said it was a good development to conserve wildlife using the defence forces, provided all the relevant authorities worked together with various stakeholders in wildlife management.
“What is important now is to ensure a positive solution was put into action because we cannot afford to allow our animals to be killed and depleted,” Mr Siamunene said.