Sat, 12 Nov 2016 14:05:24 +0000
TRADITIONAL leaders protested the awarding of hunting concessions to foreigners and demanded that late president Michael Sata allocate the contracts to indigenous Zambians, says former Tourism minister Sylvia Masebo. Ms Masebo said several traditional leaders and community resource board chairpersons in a letter to the late president indicated their displeasure over the awarding of hunting concessions which they felt were not benefiting the local people.
The former Chongwe Member of Parliament said in her submissions before Lusaka Resident Magistrate Irene Wishimanga that 21 traditional leaders and several Community Resource Board chairpersons wrote a letter to President Michael Sata complaining over the selection of the 2013 safari outfitters. This was in her continued defence in the case of abuse of authority of office against her in the cancellation of the hunting concessions without following laid down procedures. She said Mr Sata sounded unhappy when he called to find out if she received a letter from the chiefs and CRBs’ chairpersons which she later got a copy of from Sate House.
She explained that the chiefs and CRB chairpersons complained to the President that some of the resolutions made at the Sandy Creation stakeholders meeting were not complied with by the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) including their participation in the selection of hunting concessions. She submitted that the stakeholders meeting held at Sandy’s Creation talked about the issue of hunting concessions by ZAWA, but that the Ministry of Tourism failed to send representatives to address the meeting.
She claimed that the chiefs had requested the Head of State to ensure that the Ministry of Tourism abided by the stakeholder resolutions such as the re-advertising of hunting concessions. She said they complained that those given concessions did not meet the agreed obligations of taking development to the chiefs’ areas. She charged that it was on the basis of those submissions that ZAWA was accused of under-performing and it was suggested it be reintegrated into the ministry as a department.
Ms Masebo told the court that her office received a report from the meeting that the decision to re-advertise the tender for the hunting concessions was resolved to ensure that those who previously ran hunting concessions submit audited accounts to qualify for re-advertisement. And that the Zambia Public Procurement Authority was informed on the need to re-advertise, which appeared in the Zambia Daily Mail newspaper under the heading “Tender for 19 hunting concessions” with November 16, 2014, as the closing date. Trial continues.