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Co-exist, Lungu tells locals, investors

PRESIDENT Lungu says there is need for co-existence between local people and investors in areas surrounding South Luangwa National Park.
President Lungu told chiefs Nsefu, Kakumbi, Mnkhanya, Malama, Jumbe and Msoro that discrimination on racial lines should not arise in the South Luangwa National Park.
Speaking when he met all the six chiefs from Mambwe district yesterday, the President said it is important for local people to appreciate and help safeguard the wildlife resource in the area.
And Chief Jumbe said the problem between the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) and the community arose when authority started sidelining locals in the management of wildlife.
Chief Jumbe said according to the ZAWA Act, communities are supposed to be co-managers of game reserves.
He complained that ZAWA is allegedly carrying out operations without the participation of the locals.
“You cannot do anything in the preservation of wildlife if you sideline the local community. There is need to cement the relationship between ZAWA and the locals in order to have concerted efforts in fighting poaching,” Chief Jumbe said.
He also said local people are made to protect wildlife but are denied hunting licences.
He also appealed to President Lungu to facilitate the issuance of special hunting licenses to chiefs.
Meanwhile, Senior Chief Nsefu charged that ZAWA officers have allegedly continued killing suspected poachers on a pretext that they are protecting wildlife
“They arrested me for alleged poaching and this means that they are not against me as an individual but the tribe because I am a tribal parent. They say that no one is above the law, yet they behave as though they are above the law because no action is taken against the culprits,”  senior chief Nsefu said
And Mambwe district commissioner Caroline Mwanza observed that some suspects are unfairly treated, citing one who was on anti-retro viral therapy and died while in remand prison because he was allegedly denied access to medication.
She also appealed to President Lungu to consider constructing a district hospital in the area because Kamoto Mission Hospital has inadequate capacity to provide health services to the growing population.
“Currently there is a problem at the mortuary. When a person dies, we keep corpses at health facilities in Chipata as we await burial of the deceased. This makes it expensive for mourners,” Ms Mwanza said
And Chief Malama appealed to Government to rehabilitate the road leading to his palace because it is dilapidated.  ZANIS