Zambian government promised investment opportunities for overseas operators to consider Zambia as a priority area for tourism investment. Based on this promise Lucy and Steven Rufus chose Zambia as the location for their 7 day specialist safari holidays.
With the local community, Lucy and Steve established a business model that would enable not only the employment of 60 locals, but also enable the local schools and clinics be benefited by more than $25k a year in a profit sharing agreement.
Former Minister of Tourism Catherine Namugala intervened and cancelled the approval given to and Steven Rufus. The couple were investigated on three separate occasions by three separate Zambian government bodies, including the Central Fraud Squad, Zambian Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) Investigation Unit and the Council of Itezhi-tezhi where they were based. They were totally exonerated in writing by the Council. They were verbally exonerated by ZAWA. Fraud Squad denied any such investigation took place despite detaining Steven Rufus for 5 days at Central Police Station.
The Rufus’s have been on report orders since 2009 and denied ability to work. The 60 local people lost their jobs. The local schools and clinics lost $25k in annual benefits.