OVER 1,400 former Zambia Wildlife Authority officers have been put on the Government payroll following the process of integration into the Ministry of Tourism and Arts, says public relations officer Sakabilo Kalembwe.
Mr Kalembwe said a lot of progress had been made in the integration of former ZAWA staff into the Department National Parks and Wildlife.
He said so far 1,467 ZAWA members of staff had been put on the Government payroll and were up to date with their salaries as at March 31, 2016.
“The ministry has been given Treasury authority of 1,752 members of staff under phase one which will be completed by April 30, 2016.
“The Ministry of Tourism and Arts is happy to announce that substantial progress has been made in the integration of former Zambia Wildlife Authority staff into the Department National Parks and Wildlife,” he said.
Mr Kalembwe also announced that the ministry has commenced training for 15 representatives of community groups to enhance the quality of handicrafts in Mongu, Western Province.
He said the programme was in line with Government policy to enhance employment through creative arts and culture.
“The training runs till August 7 and is being conducted by Agnes Yombwe and Esnart Mweemba of Wai Wai Studio and Tazman Handcraft Shop respectively,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Sakabilo said a suspected poacher has been shot dead by National Parks and Wildlife police officers during an anti-poaching operation on the Kafue Flats. The man died on his way to hospital.
Mwila Malambo, who was in the company of five other suspects, went poaching inside the Lochinvar National Park and attempted to flee with his accompolices who evaded arrest.
The officers were carrying out routine anti-poaching operations around Mainde area, around the Kafue Flats when the incident happened.
“The ministry regrets the loss of a life, but also wishes to advise people to keep off vices like poaching that bring them into conflict with the law because this loss was totally unnecessary,” Mr Kalembwe said.