Speaker Mutti tasks Tourism minister to find solutions to human-animal conflicts, as woman reported killed by elephant


Speaker of the National Assembly, Nelly Mutti, has wondered why Zambians are always in conflict with wild animals when people in neigbouring countries such as Botswana live in harmony with the creatures.

Mutti had, therefore, urged the Minister of Tourism [Rodney Sikumba] to learn from the neigbouring countries how they had managed to contain the human-animal conflict.

The Speaker said this after Mubika Mubika, the UPND Shang’ombo Member of Parliament rose on an urgent matter without notice stating that a woman was yesterday killed by an elephant in his constituency.

Mubika claimed that his efforts to engage the Minister of Tourism and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife had proved futile and people in his constituency suspected him of not performing his duties.

Read more: Ministry warns of increased human-wildlife conflicts arising from encroachments, climate change

“Madam Speaker, two villages were razed by the elephants. I want my name to be cleared. People think I am not reporting these matters,” the MP said amidst laughter from other members. Responding to Mubika’s concern, the Speaker said there was need for concerted efforts as ministerial statements seemed not to yield any results.

“And I am just wondering, the people in Zimbabwe, or even in Chobe Game Park, in Botswana, you see people jogging, walking along side animals…elephants are there, rhinos, grazing together. “So, what is it that we, Zambians are doing that makes animals to attack us and react?

There must be something that we are doing. So, let us learn from neighbouring countries how they are managing to live in harmony with animals,” Mutti said.

She said from the videos that she had seen, it was human beings that go to attack the elephants.

“We make noise, we throw stones and do all sorts of things to provoke them. Please, through the Minister of Tourism, let us see how best this matter can be resolved. We can’t get rid of animals and we can’t get rid of human beings. We have to learn to live with each other peacefully,” Mutti said.

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