A Chinese investor is set to build a spin wheel at the
after buying off land where the Mukuni curio traders conduct business.
And Victoria Falls Mukuni Curio Traders Association chairperson Fabian Siazibola has confirmed being approached by representatives of the Chinese investor who told them that traders will have to vacate the premises in readiness for the wheel construction.
However, tourism minister Charles Banda says he is not aware that a Chinese investor has been give land at the
Victoria Falls but confirmed that some
investors had made application for the land in question. Government sources
have revealed that part of the Victoria Falls would be run by the Chinese who
will put up a play park similar to Disneyland.
The Chinese investor has since been given permission to remove traders from the site to pave way for construction works.
“We have been instructed to give land at the
Victoria Falls by the
government. The instructions were sent to the Ministry of Tourism from State
House. The named Chinese investor (Ju Wenbin) the CEO of China-Africa Cotton
Development Limited was even taken on a conducted tour of the
accompanied by some directors in the Ministry of Tourism recently,” the source
said. Vic Falls
The source added that the Department of Wildlife and Zambia Environmental Management Agency had not been involved in the land allocation which would have required an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in normal circumstances.
“We informed the government about the dangers of this development with UNESCO, but it seems the PF leadership is in a compromised situation,” the source added.
When reached for a comment, National Heritage Conservation Commission (NHCC) director Collins Chipote said he was not the best person to give an answer on the issue.
“That you can confirm with the ministry, I may not be the best person to respond to that. Get in touch with the ministry,” said Chipote despite him heading an institution that in charge of heritage sites such as the
And Siazibola said the traders would never allow the Chinese to put up the wheel with or without government’s permission.
“Over our dead bodies, we will never allow this to happen. The
is our sacred land as a people of Mukuni village; it is a shrine to us…and it
is not for sale even to the highest bidder. We have three shrines here and we
will protect them with our lives. Let them take the wheel to the Northern
Circuit. I will not be surprised that the PF government will sale to the
Chinese tomorrow,” Zambia
He said the Chinese investor was likely to take over the management of the
Falls just like what happened to ZNBC through Top Star.
“We the people of Mukuni village will never allow the Falls to be sold…we also hear that the PF has placed the
for sale. For God’s sake,
the PF should slowdown on this reckless path of selling Kafue National Park . Anyway,
we know that just like Michael Sata reversed RB’s deals, the next government
will have a big job to deal with the PF corruption,” said Siazibola. Zambia
The Victoria Falls is
Zambia’s only World Heritage Site shared with and
UNESCO does not allow any developmental projects that impede the beauty of the
A Hungarian investor who had planned to put up a hot air balloon near the Zesco power station was stopped by NHCC a couple of years ago despite having commenced the construction program.
And a hotel project near the old
was also stopped soon after then Republican vice-president Lupando Mwape had
laid a foundation stone at the site. Maramba Cultural Village
When contacted, Banda said he was not aware that land at the Victoria Falls had been given out, adding that State House had no mandate to allocate land but the Ministry of Lands.
He, however, confirmed that there were applications from some investors for the
Falls land. Asked if a Chinese investor has been allocated land at
the site, Banda said he would not be in a position to know.
“I am not aware, at the moment I don’t know who has been given land but applications are there. If anybody has been given, the Ministry of Lands will be able to know.
House or my ministry, land is only allocated by the Ministry of Lands,” said
Banda. Not State
State House spokesperson Amos Chanda was constantly busy when phoned for a comment while the Commissioner of Lands was reportedly out of office and his mobile phone was switched off by press time.
Source: PF sells land near Victoria falls, wants chinese to erect spin wheel (02/11/17)