Stakeholders' Perceptions on the National Heritage Conservation Commission Regulatory Framework Managing Mwela Rock Art Site of Kasama District of Zambia
Keywords: Heritage, Preservation, Management, Policies, Holistic, Inclusive, Indigenous.
AbstractThe study explored the stakeholders’ perceptions of the National Heritage Conservation Commission (NHCC) regulatory framework in Cultural heritage management of the Mwela Rock Art Site (MRAS) in Kasama District of Zambia. The study was impelled by the knowledge gap on the regulatory framework at the Mwela rock art site that could have led to the increased destruction and desecration at the rock art site, despite the presence of the NHCC. The researchers employed a qualitative approach to understanding the phenomenon under study thoroughly. Data was collected through interviews and focus group discussions from a sample of 16 participants, out of which five were subjects of the Bemba Royal Establishment (BRE) that include 4 Village Headmen and 1 Village Headwoman, 3 focus group discussions representing three responses from NHCC members, 4 elderly men and 4 elderly women respectively. Typical case study sampling, one of the purposive sampling techniques, was employed to select BRE subjects, NHCC members, and local elders. Data was analysed thematically. The study revealed that a holistic and inclusive regulatory framework would be cardinal in effective cultural heritage management and preservation of the Mwela rock art site. Furthermore, the Mwela rock art site might be desecrated due to the exclusive nature of the regulatory framework being implemented by NHCC in the cultural landscape. Thus, the researchers recommended incorporating indigenous people’s administrative structures and beliefs into formal preservation policies that govern cultural heritage management at MRAS. This study contributes to the enlightenment of regulatory frameworks that govern the management of ecological and cultural heritage landscapes.