Lusata festival goers feast on game from Bamunu Conservancy
By Mulisa Simiyasa
CHICHIMANI, 13 SEP (NAMPA) - The Lusata Annual Cultural Festival of the Mafwe community in the Zambezi Region is set to benefit from a significant quota of game meat from the Bamunu Conservancy over the next three years.
The cultural festival, which is held under the custodianship of Mafwe Chief George Simasiku Mamili, is celebrated on the first Sunday of October each year at Chichimani in the Sibbinda Constituency, where the Mafwe Royal Traditional Authority headquarters are based.
Mafwe tribesmen from different villages and neighbouring countries (Zambia and Botswana), dressed in traditional attire, gather at this village annually to celebrate the festival with dance performances and to feast on traditional meals.
The Chichimani village is situated about 60 kilometres east of Katima Mulilo.
Secretary of the Bamunu Nature Conservation Community Project, Austin Muyabe told Nampa on Tuesday the Mafwe Royal Traditional Authority’s Lusata festival enjoys wide respect and plays a significant role in the socio-economic development of the Zambezi Region.
“The traditional authority is also a stakeholder in the conservancy, and that qualifies it to benefit from the community’s natural resource,” said Muyabe.
Spokesperson in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), Romeo Muyunda also confirmed that the traditional authority is listed as a beneficiary to be allocated hunting quotas in the conservancy.
Muyunda said the allocations were done by the Environment and Tourism Minister, Pohamba Shifeta at the beginning of this year.
“This time, they will benefit for the period of 2017, 2018 and 2019,” he said.
Muyunda added that the traditional authority’s cultural festival was allocated a buffalo, five zebras, one elephant and one hippo - all meant for consumption.
Community members have also been given permits to hunt two buffalos, 25 zebras, three elephants, two warthogs and 50 guinea fowls for consumption.
The conservancy was founded in 2011 and is expected to generate more than N.dollars 1,4 million through game trophy hunting this year.
The conservancy covers land in five villages: Muketela, Chichimani, Kanono, Shaile, and Malundu.
Over 500 elephants, 3 000 buffalos, 4 000 zebras and other game species are under conservation in this communal conservancy.