TOURISM and Arts Minister Ronald Chitotela says government will not be disrupted by the “evil intentions of doomsayers” who want them to fail, insisting that President Edgar Lungu is determined to better Zambia.

And Chitotela has called for discipline among uniformed officers under the Department of the National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW).

Meanwhile, Chitotela said Dr Innocent Billy Ng’ombwa, a veterinary doctor who tranquilised the stray lion that escaped from Mundawanga earlier this week, has been promoted by President Lungu to principal veterinary officer pending formalities.

Speaking when he visited Mundawanga Gardens, in Chilanga, Thursday, Chitotela expressed delight over the speedy response of the DNPW in capturing the lion that escaped from the park.

Chitotela, however, appealed to residents of Chilanga District, especially the local authority, to ensure that they respected boundaries and not construct houses near the zoo catchment area.

“I am happy, director and your team, for your speedy response to capture the lion that escaped from its area. I want to appeal to the people of Chilanga, more especially to the authority, let’s respect boundaries. We can’t have a house built just next to the wall fence of a zoo! It may not just be a lion, it can be a snake. If we move in and demolish [the houses] they will say, ‘where were you until now that people have built?’ So, we need to respect the laws that we make for ourselves,” Chitotela urged.

“And to the officer who responded, we are saying, job well done! When you are working, don’t think government doesn’t see. The President always says that, ‘he has eyes everywhere.’ So, when people are working, reports reach him.”

He stressed that government would not be disrupted by the “evil intentions of doomsayers,” who wanted them to fail, adding that President Lungu was determined to see a better Zambia for the next generation.

“And to those doomsayers, please, give us space to work! You have your say, we have our work to do. We will not be disrupted by your evil intentions of wanting us to fail! The President is determined, he wants to better Zambia for the next generation to come. Those that voted for President Lungu, they want him to deliver; they want him to give them social services, economic services and he can give that through us. If we fail, everybody will say, ‘Chitotela has failed, President Lungu has failed.’ But if Mundawanga succeeds, everyone will say, ‘we have succeeded.’ Let’s work together so that we succeed as a team. Together, we will transform Mundawanga,” he said.

And Chitotela called for discipline among uniformed officers under the Department.

“Zambia is about 775,000 square kilometres and 332,000 square kilometres is protected land, it is land that you, our men and women in uniform under the Department of the National Parks and Wildlife, police. Therefore, I want to call for discipline among you. For you to succeed, for you to do a good job and for you to do that which you are employed for, you need to bear in mind that you are doing it for and on behalf of the 17.4 million Zambians out there. So, discipline is very key. For any institution to succeed, there must be discipline. Lack of discipline breeds confusion and failure,” he advised.

Chitotela further assured that the Department under his Ministry would benefit in terms of the housing units that were being constructed by government across the country.

Meanwhile, the Department announced that Dr Ng’ombwa and other officers, who helped him capture the stray lion, would be rewarded.

“Today, government has recognised Dr Ng’ombwa for the bravery that he exhibited on August 9, 2020, when the lion went across. You may wish to know that Dr Ng’ombwa was not alone. He may have been with some officers that helped him in trying to capture that lion. We are also looking at those officers and by next week, we will communicate to them in terms of the reward. It may not be a promotion, it may not be money, but we will communicate accordingly in the course of next week by Wednesday so that you all remain motivated,” said the director HRA Lenox Kalonde.