Zambia: Zawa Board Named

TOURISM and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo has announced the appointment of a nine-member team as board members for the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA).

Ms Masebo cautioned stakeholders in the tourism sector against secretive operations in the running of the sector.

Speaking in Lusaka yesterday, during a Tourism Council of Zambia (TCZ) breakfast meeting, Ms Masebo named the ZAWA board members as Patriotic Front secretary general Wynter Kabimba, Senior Chief Inyambo Yeta of the Lozi people of Sesheke, Chieftainess Mwape of the Nsenga people of Petauke, Timothy Mushibwe, an accountant, and operations director of Sanctuary Retreats, Anita Balletto.

Others are Tourism and Arts Permanent Secretary Charity Mwansa, Ministry of Finance economist Chasiya Kazembe, Yonus Mitta, and Guy Robinson as board chairperson.

"May I take this opportunity to announce the appointment of Guy Robinson as ZAWA board chairperson. The Tourism and Arts Permanent Secretary will represent my ministry, and we have two royal highnesses to represent chiefs in the country.

"I have also appointed the PF secretary general as a member to represent the party," she said.

Ms Masebo said an inaugural meeting for the newly-appointed board members would be held on Monday.

She said the appointment of an interim director general of ZAWA would be advertised in the media, before appointment by the new board.

The minister said the recent clean-up exercise of ZAWA would be extended to provincial offices, a measure aimed at ensuring that all traces of corruption were rooted out of the system.

"I have no doubt that with this new board in place, the tourism sector will become one of the robust job creating industries in Zambia," she said.

She reaffirmed Government's commitment and continued partnership with the private sector in ensuring the growth of the tourism sector in the country.

And Ms Masebo cautioned players in the sector to share knowledge on operations of the tourism sector to ensure that it succeeded.

She said the sector had been characterised by secrecy that had led to misunderstandings and lack of adequate Government support.

She assured stakeholders in the sector that most of their concerns on legislative lapses would be addressed in the next session of Parliament to ensure the success of the sector, which she said was one of the critical areas of development.

She called on players in the sector to re-organise themselves to attract funding from the Government.

Ms Masebo called on hotel and tourism training institutes in the country to work at addressing the issue of churning out quality personnel in the tourism sector, which she said had negatively affected the sector.

And a new ZAWA board member Anita Balletto said she was humbled by the confidence the minister had expressed in her and pledged to carry out her duties diligently.

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