Government should thoroughly investigate the illegal smuggling of Zambia’s wildlife so that all culprits are brought to book and also ensure that animals benefitted Zambians through tourism ventures.
The call for thorough investigations is premised on the disclosure by the Zambia Wildlife Authority that the arrest of seven foreigners who were found with 12 Sable Antelopes was not an accident.
ZAWA has told the whole world that they had set-up a dragnet for the foreigners who are accused of smuggling animals from Zambia before they were finally arrested.
This information entails that this is not the first time the foreigners were coming to Zambia and executing their evil act on our wildlife animals.
The seven foreigners must have made their entry into Zambia and smuggling some of our wildlife a habit.
But there is no way that foreigners can simply enter the country and execute his evil act on our animals without conniving with locals.
Definitely, there must be some Zambians involved in this animal smuggling ring who benefiting from the smuggling of the animals.
If indeed, there are no Zambians involved, then we must be a country with citizens who are not security conscious.
This is because Sables are such big animals that cannot be hidden in pockets and smuggled out of the country without being noticed.
In fact, those living around game areas are supposed to be alert to notice that their animals are being smuggled.
We say this because we know that ZAWA has committees which are responsible for the welfare of animals.
These committees with the involvement of the traditional leaders in a given game area protect the welfare of the wildlife and in turn receive some allowances.
It is also because of this that we call for thorough investigations in this animal smuggling ring.
We also call for the strengthening of security in our air force so that advanced equipment is installed to detect planes that fly lower than the current recommended flying levels.
The air force should not just grant flying rights but also ensure that when a plane departs from its original plan, follow ups are made.
The plane involved in the smuggling of animals was given rights to fly to Polokwane in South Africa, but how Gwembe in Zambia became the destination is baffling.
This plane should be should be confiscated and surrendered to ZAWA who can better use it on animal surveillance operations.
Those who think Zambia is a playground for illegal animal traffickers should be taught a lesson by meeting the full consequences of the law.