Lusaka, Friday (February 2, 2024)
Former Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, William Harrington, says the New Dawn Administration must restate ‘publicly’ it’s position on Lusaka National Forest number 27.
Mr. Harrington said Second Republican President Dr. Frederick Chiluba gazetted Forest 27 following a petition by then Chalimbana Rural Headwaters Community Trust Secretary, Robert Chimambo, who collected 3000 signatures.
He said the Chiluba legacy was, unfortunately, thwarted by the cancellation of a Statutory Instrument (SI) by succeeding Government Administrations.
The former Environment Minister said, Government before in the year 2022, allowed a massive housing project to take place in Forest 27 adding that he is not sure any more if it possible to save the Forest.
This came to light at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka when Environmentalists bade farewell to their fellow Robert Kunda Chimambo who was born on February 1, 1947 and died on January 27, 2024 and was put to rest at Leopards Hill Memorial Park in Lusaka.
He said Mr. Chimambo has gone down a sad person that the issue of Forest 27 was not resolved in his life time.
Mr. Harrington urged Government to award Late Mr. Chimambo posthumously for being an Environmental Defender who was even arrested for rejecting mining in Lower Zambezi National Park, Kabwe Lead Poisoning, among others.
Sharing his tributes at the same procession, Centre for Environment Justice (CEJ) Board Member Boniface Mumba said Mr. Chimambo was a courageous and fearless Environmental Defender.
And Zambia Climate Change Network (ZCCN) Member Abel Musumali said, Zambia in 2010, hosted a large conference on environmental protection issues with participation of youths across Africa because of Mr. Chimambo’s guidance.