Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda has responded graciously and expeditiously to a petition to set up a tribunal to investigate Tourism Minister Sylvia Masebo over allegations of corruption at ZAWA, and has written to inform the President about the matter as required by law.
The Chief Justice responded to a petition presented by former transport minister William Harrington who requested that a tribunal be set up to probe alleged wrong doing at ZAWA by the minister, requesting the petitioner to clarify a few issues before she could make her final decision on the matters.
Mr. Harrington told the Daily Nation that the response from the Chief Justice was prompt and was evidence that she believes in the Justice system of the country.
He said according to the letter from the Chief Justice, he was requested to clarify a few issues before she could act on his request.
“I am happy that Justice Chibesakunda has responded graciously and expeditiously to me. This is demonstrating seriousness by considering this matter in the shortest possible time. She has done the right thing and she has also asked me to clarify a few things that I indicated in my letter to her.
So I am going to give her the details she is asking for at the
beginning of next week.
“I support and commend her on this move and her decision to notify the President as stipulated by the Act,” Harrington said.
The Chief Justice was petitioned to institute a tribunal to investigate Ms Masebo on the allegations of corruption and abuse of power.
In his letter to Chief Justice, Mr Harrington said Ms Masebo abused her office and breached contracts, as well the parliamentary and ministerial Code of conduct Act part 11 section 3 (c) when she dismissed from employment senior Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) management officials on allegation of corruption in the hunting concession licences tender process.
He further alleged that Ms Masebo abused her office by ordering the withdrawal and non publication of the list of successful bidders for hunting concession licenses and cancellation of the tender process in breach of the Zambia Public Procurement Agency (ZPPA) Act No. 12 of 1998.
He also said the aappointment of a committee to prepare her own bidding documents and giving verbal instructions to ZAWA officers to hunt wildlife without issuing a special licence was in breach of both ZAWA and ZPPA Act.
Mr Harrington indicated that the tribunal should recommend to government appropriate administrative action based on the findings of the investigations as provided under the parliamentary and ministerial Code of Conduct Act.
And Mr Harrington has appealed to fellow citizens to come forward and give evidence that would help President Sata and the PF government realise how serious the abuse of office had weakened their desired fight against corruption.