Zambia Minister Cancels Hunting Block Allocations, Closes Cat Hunting


Published: February - 2013

The upcoming hunting season in Zambia was disrupted when Minister of Tourism and Arts Sylvia Masebo canceled the tendering process for the reallocation of 19 hunting blocks just as the Dallas Safari Club (DSC) Convention kicked off. A week later, she announced the blocks would remain closed to hunting for 2013 and that lion and leopard hunting throughout the country would close as well. We issued an Email Extra bulletin about the cancelation from the floor of the DSC convention on January 4, and a second one about the closures on January 10, 2013.

As of this writing on the 20th of January, despite efforts by the Professional Hunting Association of Zambia (PHAZ) and other industry representatives, lion and leopard hunting in Zambia remains closed, along with all hunting in the 19 hunting blocks that were to be reallocated for 2013. (See list below.) Hunting will continue on private, fenced ranches and on hunting blocks that were not included in the 2013-2018 allocation period.

The cancelation of tenders occurred when the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) presented the winning tenders for hunting blocks to Masebo at the very end of December, 2012. The minister accused ZAWA officials of corruption, declaring that the concessions were being given to individuals in a "family cartel" and that ZAWA did not follow proper procedures in the allocation process. Reportedly, nine out of the 19 concessions were going to companies operated by one family.

Masebo stopped the tender process and fired ZAWA Director General Edwin Matokwani along with four other ZAWA board members. This left certain Zambian hunting companies, and booking agents representing them, in limbo for the entire DSC convention, unable to sell hunts in many Zambian hunting areas. Near press time, the minister appointed a new board of directors for ZAWA, and, by the time you read this, the board may have begun moving on both the tendering process (possibly for 2014) and the cat hunting issue.

The reason given for the cat hunting closure is that the population figures previously reported by........(continued)

 
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