By: Kelvin Chiringa
Delphine Ilunga, owner of Furaha Tours and Safaris, under whose watch a French tourist ended up dead in the Deadvlei, has cautioned against blame game as authorities hunt after what caused the death.
Nicolas Remondiere (54) was found dead after he separated from the rest of his fellows in Sossusvlei last week, in a case that has left many rattled in the tourism sector.
However, Ilunga has cautioned against coming to conclusions and blaming anyone until the investigations are done and completed an autopsy.
“In life, anything can happen. You can have a client, and in the morning, the door does not open. You break it open, and you find out that somebody has died. Maybe they had some underlining conditions. So, there are facts around it, and that is why an investigation by the police is important for as long as someone is not to be blamed for it.
“Somebody goes to sleep and wakes up dead. How do you blame yourself for that? We did all we could to look for the person. You can see the place; everything is so clear. We searched for the person with the help of the police, and I tried to get a chopper from the police from the previous day only to be able to get it the following day. So, we believe we did all we could,” he said.
In the meantime, the Environment spokesperson Romeo Muyunda told The Villager on Saturday that they want to understand what informed the tour guide to ask the tourist to go back on his own.
Muyunda also said they would want to establish any negligence on the party of the tour guide and whether any due diligence was done.
He further said if need be, the ministry would also probe if the NTB asked them to do so.
According to Muyunda, losing tourists is a painful and sad thing.
For his part, Ilunga said the incident had left him in a state of shock, adding that he too was eagerly waiting for an autopsy to unearth what happened to him.
“It’s a very big shock to us. It has affected my guide and the clients that were with him, and it is something that we do not want to happen. That’s why we are eager now to learn what happened.
“Remember the team went to search two times with the help of the police and with the help of the rangers, and we did not find him until in the night, and they only got to find him the following morning.
“So, it is a big shock and a big blow to the industry because that is not the way we want to portray our country. I wouldn’t say this will affect my business in the long run because facts need to be established,” he said.