Friday, July 5, 2013

Zambian Government Take over Munda Wanga to 'Save' It

Zambian Government Take over Munda Wanga to 'Save' It

Nobody could doubt that Munda Wanga has passed through some difficult times but the sincerity and dedication of the staff could never be doubted. This small collection has moved from strength to strength each year.

I have advertised for staff for Munda Wanga though Zoo Jobs. UK Keepers I know have travelled there to assist with their environmental enrichment programme. They had nothing but complimentary remarks upon their return. Unusually Munda Wanga has been looked upon quite favourably by the Born Free Foundation and they have cooperated on some projects.

I have followed the progress of this little place for a good many years. I have been impressed by the dedication of people like Lee Stewart, Frederik Hengeveld and others who worked so hard in difficult circumstances to make this little zoo work.

I has not been easy and in 1998 it was taken over by the Munda Wanga Trust. They have really turned the place around and whereas it was never planned to make a profit they have done well. 2012 saw a 50% increase in visitors to nearly 80,000.

This it would seem was the wrong thing to do. Money! Now the collection has been re-possessed by the Zambian Government and the running of the park handed over to the Zambia Wildlife Authority. The pitiful  excuse given was that the Munda Wanga Trust have 'breached their Tourism Concession Agreement and so the government have stepped in to save the attraction from collapse'.
Rubbish. Someone has smelled cash. Corruption again. A new investor is to be sought. More pockets greased.

I hope the animals are okay.

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