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MUSHIBWE (second left) with staff from the Zambia Tourism Board at the Copperbelt Mining, Agricultural and Commercial Show in Kitwe in 2012.

Timothy Mushibwe: Accountant, conservationist gone…

ALTHOUGH you would say his sudden death last Sunday was somewhat low-key, he was nonetheless a larger-than-life presence in the corporate world.
An audit, tax, corporate recovery, corporate finance and consulting specialist Timothy Mushibwe’s footprints in the accounting world cannot be ignored.
But it is not just in the world of finance where you are going to find his marks. He was heavily involved in wildlife conservation efforts as well.
As chairperson of the Zambia Tourism Board (ZTB) at the time of his death, Mr Mushibwe who was buried on Thursday at Leopards Hill Memorial Park in Lusaka, was there when the organisation changed the theme from ‘Zambia, the real Africa’ to ‘Zambia, let’s explore’.
When ZTB launched the re-branding of Zambia’s tourism theme, Mr Mushibwe said the old theme was sending the wrong message to potential tourists that Zambia is a poverty-stricken and underdeveloped country, the reason he believed the tourism industry was not growing.
A leading consultant and interim manager during the transformation of National Parks and Wildlife Service to the Zambia Wildlife Authority, Mr Mushibwe had an interest in conservation issues for close to two decades.
His interests included being a founding member of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (Zambia), Game Rangers International and Conservation Lower Zambezi, as well as being a non-executive director for African Parks, Liuwa National Park in Western Province.
The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, founded by British artist and wildlife ambassador David Shepherd, is a charity funding key projects in the country and working to save critically endangered mammals in the world.
The Game Rangers International was founded in 2008 with the specific aim of assisting the communities living around the Kafue National Park to better manage the natural resources of the area through support to wildlife management, protection as well as community outreach and education.
On the other hand, Conservation Lower Zambezi, where Mr Mushibwe served as chairperson, is a non-governmental organisation specialised in promoting the protection of fauna and flora in the Lower Zambezi National Park.
The organisation operates under a memorandum of understanding with ZAWA. Once registered as a non-governmental organisation, it began to assist the National Parks and Wildlife Service including the Chiawa community with conservation efforts.
Over the years, the Royal Danish Embassy and the Danish International Development Agency had funded the establishment of the Conservation Lower Zambezi base camp, environmental education centre, mobile education unit, equipment, media promotion and safari guide training.
It now has a well-established base camp just outside the western boundary of the Lower Zambezi National Park from which it can run effective operations. But with DANIDA funding ceasing at the end of 2007, apart from individual grants, it has relied solely on private contributions.
Mr Mushibwe was also involved with the African Lion and Environmental Research Trust (ALERT), which works with communities and policy makers, conservation managers, researchers and business leaders, to implement locally conceived and relevant solutions that create sustainable motivation to conserve lions amongst these stakeholder groups.
The organisation also works with communities to meet the challenges of living alongside a dangerous predator, while conducting research to improve the understanding of the lion’s behaviour in Africa’s ecosystems to make informed decisions.
ALERT is successfully operating pilot programmes of the ‘responsible development’ approach in Zimbabwe and Zambia although other countries have expressed interest in it assisting them to conserve lions.
Away from lions, Mr Mushibwe held various senior executive roles in the corporate world including that of managing partner of Deloitte & Touche Zambia.  He was a founding member of the Zambia Revenue Authority’s Revenue Appeals Tribunal on which he served for eight years as a tax judge until 2007.
He retired from Deloitte in May 2008 and established Baker Tilly Meralis in Zambia, which is a member firm of Baker Tilly International, one of the largest accounting firms in the world.
Mr Mushibwe, who attended Masala Secondary School in Ndola before transferring to Cornwall Technical College and then completing a Bachelor of Science in mining engineering at Leeds University, United Kingdom (UK).
In 1999, he qualified as a member, and in 2004 as a fellow of both the Association of Chartered Accountants in the UK, and with the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants.
He was chairperson of Real Estate Investments Zambia Plc, which is listed on the Lusaka Stock Exchange and is the leading real estate investment, development and management company in the country. Mr Mushibwe was also chairman of Professional Life Assurance Company.
He also served as an Independent Director in the role of Chairman of the Audit Committee, representing the public, on the board of the Lusaka Stock Exchange.
But despite Mr Mushibwe being known as an audit, tax, corporate recovery, corporate finance and consulting specialist with about over two decades “hands-on” experience, he also previously worked for the mining conglomerate- Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines as a mining engineer.
With his death, he will be remembered for his active professional life during which time he developed a deep commitment to conservation, the preservation of country’s national heritage and the drive for improving livelihoods of communities.
For those that were around in July 2013, they will remember him for chairing the Lusaka at 100 committee as the capital city celebrated its centenary.