The Zambia Wildlife Police officers in Chipata district of Eastern Province have complained over lack of decent accommodation in their camp.
Speaking on behalf of other officers during a protest in Chipata, Noah Banda said wildlife officers were staying in old and dilapidated houses which were not even fit for human habitation.
He said the houses, most of them prefabricated, had outlived their usefulness and they now posed a danger to human life.
“The houses we are living in were built a long time ago but up to now there is no power connected to the houses and you can even see the status in which they are, full of cracks which is dangerous to us. We are forced to live in it just because there is nothing we can do, we just love our job,” Banda said.
Banda said the conditions of service for Wildlife Police Officers had not been improved for the last 10 years since the institution changed from Zambia Wildlife Authority to Zambia National Parks and Wildlife.
He lamented that Wildlife Police Officers are the lowest paid civil servants with a monthly pay of K3,000 despite the department generating a lot of income for the nation through tourism.
“We get an amount which is less than anyone else gets in the civil service, which is an insult to what we do. We undergo different difficulties in our line of duty but no one else indicates any interest to our leaders”, he lamented.
“Our demand now is that on the month-end of February we expect that the Government acts as such, that our conditions of service are bettered.”
They demand that the institution is separated from civilians and operate like other security wings which are led by Commissioners Generals.
The officers appealed to the government to consider improving their working conditions by increasing their salaries and providing decent accommodation in all Wildlife Camps.
Zambia Wildlife Police Officers on Thursday held a countrywide protest.