Masebo Tribunal should go ahead

The Travel and Tourism Management consultant Phineas Chilanda has welcomed the Lusaka High Court ruling to allow former Transport Minister William Harrington to challenge acting Chief Justice over her refusal to set up a tribunal to probe Tourism Minister Sylvia Masebo on corruption allegations.

Mr Chilanda said there was nothing wrong in having Ms Masebo investigated on corruption allegations if justice was to prevail.

Mr Chilanda said that tourism was one of the sectors that were sensitive and needed to be headed by someone who was clean since it entailed dealing with various local and international stakeholders.

He said that it would serve the industry well for Ms Masebo to be exonerated by the tribunal because the tourism industry was a sensitive one which required a lot of transparency.

“I think Mr Harrington must be appreciated for having pursued this issue so that Ms Masebo is given chance to state her side of the story, after all she is not guilty until she is proven so,” he said.

He advised the people of Zambia to consider supporting and appreciating citizens who were pursuing matters of public interest, adding that he saw no reason why the office of the chief Justice could have refused to appoint the tribunal to have Ms Masebo investigated.

Last week Judge Sichinga ruled that there was a contention that the Justice Chibesakunda   misapprehended the law when she refused to appoint a tribunal as the law did not give the Chief Justice any discretion.

According to the submission, upon receipt of a complaint the Chief Justice’s role was to simultaneously inform the President and the Speaker of the National Assembly and then proceed to constitute a tribunal.

Mr Harrington’s lawyer Gilbert Phiri from PNP Advocates said the decision they were challenging was made by a public authority which was exercising a public function.