The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has commenced investigations into the K42 4999 80 the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) paid to Ndozo Lodge to facilitate the accommodation and upkeep of witnesses for former Tourism and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo who was appearing before the Judge Rhoyda Kaoma Tribunal for allegedly breaching the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct.
And the ACC has confirmed that it is investigating Sports and Youth Minister Chishimba Kambwili over newspaper advertisement congratulating him as Roan Member of Parliament, over his degree he obtained from Copperstone University.
ACC public relation manager Timothy Moono yesterday disclosed that the Commission was investigating how ZAWA management could authorize payment for Masebo’s witnesses in a tribunal in which she was appearing in her personal capacity.
Moono said ACC was earnestly following up the case stating that although the matter was new, it had raised a lot of concern and it was therefore appropriate that the Authority should explain how it paid all the expenses for Masebo during the time she was facing investigations by the tribunal.
“I can confirm that the Commission has started investigating how ZAWA paid K42 499 80 to Ndozo Lodge to facilitate the upkeep and accommodation for three traditional leaders and their retainers. We know that Masebo was appearing before the tribunal in her personal capacity and we have information that it was ZAWA that paid for her expenses. The matter is new but it has drawn a lot of public interest and we are earnestly following it,” Moono said.
Moono also said Kambwili was being investigated for allegedly having forced the Ministry of Sports and Youths to cause the publication of advertisement in government newspapers congratulating him for obtaining a first degree in administration at Copperstone University.
Moono said the commission summoned Kambwili for questioning for abuse of authority but could not give further details on the matter.
And the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has demanded that ZAWA acting director general Xenophon Vlahakis should be investigated for having authorized an irregular payment of K42 488 80 for Masebo’s witnesses. FODEP executive director MacDonald Chipenzi the Judge Kaoma Tribunal was not meant to investigate ZAWA and it was therefore abuse of authority and office for Masebo to have influenced the authority to pay for her expenses. Chipenzi said ZAWA should be made to explain why it paid for Masebo’s witnesses when the petitioner, William Harrington used his private resources to pay for all the witnesses that testified at the inquiry.
“We are calling on the Anti-Corruption Commission to institute investigations into how ZAWA authorized the payment of K42 499 80 to Ndozo Lodge to facilitate the upkeep and accommodation for three chiefs and their retainers who were witnesses for Masebo.
For all we know, Masebo was appearing before the Tribunal in her individual capacity and it was abuse of authority for her to have caused ZAWA to take care of her expenses.
Those who authorized that payment should be investigated so that they should explain why they paid for Masebo’s tribunal expenses,” Chipenzi said.
Chipenzi said if Masebo wanted to have her expenses paid for, she should have asked Cabinet office through the Attorney General request government to take care of her expenses during her tribunal.