No Black Lechwe Can Move Without My Signature, Says Chitotela

Tourism and Arts minister Ronald Chitotela has said he is not aware of any live capture of Black Lechwes in Bangweulu Wetlands as such an exercise can only be done with his approval.

And Ministry of Tourism and Arts permanent secretary Amos Malupenga has refuted reports that 80 Black Lechwes are missing in the Bangweulu Wetlands.

There have been reports that 80 Black Lechwes have gone missing the Bangweulu Wetlands, according to a statement by Northern Circuit conservationist Nsama Kearns.

However, the Minister has expressed ignorance over the claims when he featured on a Hot FM programme on Tuesday morning, saying he is interested to know the truth about the claims as the government had issued strict instructions against live capture of animals from national parks to either private game ranches or other parks.

“I am  interested in knowing the truth because from the time I announced the suspension of the live capture, I had issued specific instructions. No more movements of live animals from the National Parks either to private or to any other park. And there can never be any movement without the signature of the minister. So  when I saw that issue, the PS said we are not aware so we called the Department of Wildlife and they said ‘sir, there has never been any movement’. And through our investigations, we discovered that there is a lady called Nsama who lives in Luapula Province in Mansa. So we were interested and we requested the police commissioner for Luapula Province to call Nsama to give more details. Because where 80 live capture of Lechews is happening, obviously there must be vehicles, there must be people to capture. So she will provide us with information to know how the animals were moved and who did the count to see that 80 are missing,” Mr Chitotela explained. “And to put the record straight, there is this misconception that Luapula Province. Bangweulu Wetlands boarder with Luapula but the National Park which is run by the African Park and the President of the African Park is Prince Harry. So to raise that serious alarm, also it creates interest in the British government. It creates interest in the operators of the African Park. Where the Americans also have interest because Tudor Jones  is a partner in the African Park. We can’t just have people  standing up and posting on the social media to say 80 Black Lechews are missing without providing information. I can assure the Zambian people that from the time I was appointed as minister, I have never signed any license for animal capture.”

He said the claims that 80 Black Lechwes had gone missing were malicious and meant to undermine the government of President Edgar Lungu.

“It is just people bent on malicious assassination of the PF administration under President Lungu. Where 80 animals are missing, there could be maybe four, five trucks that are picking. In Eastern Province in Mfuwe National Park in particular, the 50 buffaloes that were to be moved, you saw the number of trucks that went there and people saw,” Mr Chitotela said.

He recalled that a permit was earlier issued by his predecessor, Charles Banda, in March this year for the capture of animals.
“That permit was issued by my predecessor in the case of Mfuwe. After my investigations because there were other issues that involved administrative  dealing…we have done a lot of changes at Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) in Chilanga. I had to issue the suspension so that we  get to know. As you may be aware, me and the  Permanent Secretary (PS) are new at the ministry. But this information of  80 Black Lechews missing, obviously for me to begin maybe  penalizing my director, or those that are under the Bangweulu Wetlands management in Mpika, and to clarify that it is not in Luapula Province, it is in Mpika under senior chief Kopa and Chundamponde. So I need to understand who moved to capture these vehicles and what are the number plates of these vehicles. And in Zambia, we only have three specialized live capture of animals. How were the animals moved? It is  because obviously, I have developed interest, even the President has developed interest to see how these animals, 80 of them, can move without the authority of the minister,” Mr Chitotela said.

And Mr Chitotela, in response to a question about public sentiments that wrong things had started happening in the tourism ministry since he moved there, said there are people determined to destroy his reputation.
“From the time I faced legal issues in court, I have not spoken. I have kept quiet. At times I wonder. The time I was in infrastructure, I faced unfortunate situation where it ended up in court. The matters that happened before I became a minister. I had a different case court running  and I had a different case in the social media running…I was acquitted by the courts, nobody has come out to state the truth. I was transferred to the Ministry of Tourism, the enemies have not stopped fighting. The people that are determined to paint or destroy Chitotela I know they have not stopped. So they have been trying everything possible. Immediately I entered the Ministry, even before I could sit down, ati ‘no, he is capturing the animals in Mfuwe. I was so shocked,” Mr Chitotela said. “After investigations, I found that my predecessor Charles Banda  signed the capturing and I said what was the motive for people to do this? I was told by one of my friends in the  opposition that people are saying among the  strong people that are standing with President Lungu is Chitotela and we must make sure he falls. We must weaken PF by targeting the strong people around President Lungu. And that is the agenda they are driving. You saw how I was vilified, called  corrupt, arrested, accused,  taken to court for things I never did. Things that happened before I became a minister. I move in the ministry even before I entered the door, they said he has stolen the animals.”
He advised Zambians against alarming the nation.

“You cannot just stand from on the  anthill and say a ‘thief, a thief’ with a view to tarnish honorable  Chitotela’s  reputation. I have children,” said Mr Chitotela.
“This could be a ‘wolf wolf wolf’ or somebody bent on  destroying Chitotela. I was just speaking to a colleague among the PF and I said look, If you are targeting the strong people around President Lungu, that today Chitotela must fall, tomorrow it’s Kampyongo, the other day honorable Lubinda, the other day it Jean Kapata, the other day it is Dr Chitalu, the other day it is Mumbi Phiri, the other day it is  Prof Luo, the other day it is this one. After you kill everybody, then you go for President Edgar Lungu because that is the target they have.”

And speaking during a media briefing this afternoon, Mr Malupenga explained that Dr Banda, the former minister, in March this year issued a capture permit for 50 Black Lechwe to Langani Game Ranch in Kazungula and 30 Black Lechwe to Kwisoko Game Farm in Lusaka.

He said with that the authorization, the animals were captured and translocated to the two farms on 10th September 2019.

Mr. Malupenga said the Department of National Parks and Wildlife’s Research and Veterinary Unit had earlier carried out an ecological assessment at these establishments to ensure that they were habitable by the species.


  1. Leonard Siame

    Am sure someone is singing the song boss boss boss boss,but Zambia zoona it’s the real Africa



    • Leonard Siame

      Kweshoni? Is Mr v.findlay a politically exposed person? Cause it’s like everyone fears be him be like they used to fear the Gupta family in South Africa.even chitotela didn’t want to on five fm





  4. PWII


  5. Truth man

    The truth has been revealed 50 black lechwe to Kazungula in Botswana and 30 to a private farm in Lusaka. So what is the argument about? We know where the animals have been taken to . So it remains for the minister to explain if this was a legal or an illegal arrangement. That is what the nation wants to know , Full Stop!

    • Advocate of change

      That really true #TRUTH MAN the only problem is that the minister is too ignorant of the fact that wild life is being captured….rhis is what we get for choosing incompetent leaders

  6. Impyakusu ichinyo

    But ba president nabo why can’t he just fire this chikala from any Ministerial position it’s because he is also involved?

  7. Fyantha

    No smoke without fire. Intensify monitoring bwana.

    • Judy C

      Yes, no smoke without fire ,that’s why that man who wants to enter plot 1 with yakumbuyo should be investigated further.


    50 to Langeni game in kazungula 30 to kwisoko in Lusaka just check in all zawa check points they have the documents professionally stealing from zambians on Friday we even join hand’s to pray for our national hunger

  9. Jamtone

    Nomba mwaingilila ne namba shampanga ba mumbwe

  10. liswa


  11. vm

    I have no kind words for this guy ,he confidently can Lie

  12. mugole gole

    Bene chitotela nsomba Zikulu zikulu
    Ba zompo
    First it was mukula tree now its black lechwes
    Shame on you Ba paya farmer
    You will see in 2021
    No vote

  13. Razor

    Both the minister and PS are contradicting each other. The minister says the permit was given by his predecessor but he suspended it yet the PS is saying the only animals that were relocated were those on that permit which the former minister issued. So there is something very fishy here being both the Minister and PS are trying desperately to protect the big fish and in doing so they are bumbling the job and letting the car out of the bag.

  14. Mulenga

    Chitotela better be honest,ifitekwa fyakwa lesa tefyakupenenako,there’s no smoke without fire,the one that should be interrogated by police is him not Nsama kearns

  15. Dr Fonicks

    The farm they are talking about in Lusaka is for Findlay. It was reported by Zambia watchdog. That’s why Hon Chitotela couldn’t respond in a straightforward manner. Some leaders have been hypnotized by Mr. Findlay. They can’t talk ill of him. They can’t bite a fingerthat feeds them. Bye for now.

  16. enalo

    if facts are there. sleep more beans. Zambia is rich. we should not be taken for granted.

  17. Ba Five kwacha

    Problem mukwata nga mwaiba nolishamo abanenu nishi mwamba ukunzalana butuntu muchita,abena zambia nomba balimishiba, tamwakababepepo iyo, akwibepeni ukokeine ku state nga mwaikala.twalinaka ukunfwa ifyabupuba,

  18. katis

    we are tired

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