Masebo must resign-FODEP

Tourism and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo must resign to await the outcome of her tribunal findings, says Forum for Democratic Process executive director, Mac Donald Chipenzi.

Chipenzi said that it was improper for the minister facing a tribunal to be in office, but should instead step down to facilitate for transparent investigations.

The Lusaka High Court on Monday threw out the injunction by the State which had stopped the tribunal from investigating the breach of the Ministerial Code of Conduct and alleged corruption activities leveled against Masebo from going ahead.

Chipenzi said that there was nothing wrong with ministers facing investigations to step down from their positions because that did not take away any respect from them.

“We are demanding for Masebo to resign from her position to pave way for investigations on the alleged breach of the Ministerial Code of Conduct leveled against her; besides, there is nothing wrong in giving people a chance to do their job freely,” he said.

He said that if anything, ministers should be probed to deter them from abusing public offices, adding that showing arrogance was not helpful.

“We expect Masebo to adhere to what the people of Zambia are demanding of her,  to give justice a chance, “he said.

High Court Judge Dominic Sichinga lifted the Order of Stay the court had earlier granted to Attorney General Mumba Malila who had filed an injunction to block the tribunal from commencing its sittings.

Judge Sichinga ruled that he did not agree with the State’s arguments that if the Judgment ordering the Supreme Court to constitute a Tribunal against Masebo was not stayed, the appeal in the Supreme Court over the same would be rendered nugatory and an academic exercise. Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda last year established a Tribunal to investigate Masebo over allegations of breaching the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct after the Tourism Minister fired five Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) directors and dissolved its board.