By CHARLES MUSONDA
A LEGAL battle has erupted in the Lusaka High Court over refusal by the Wildlife Management licensing committee to grant Chita Lodge and Resorts Limited a hunting concession agreement in upper Luano.
The battle is also over Minister of Tourism and Arts Ronald Chitotela’s failure to consider and determine Chita Lodge and Resorts Limited’s appeal to him to reverse the committee’s refusal dated December 1, 2020.
In his affidavit in support of ex-parte summons for leave to apply for judicial review, the company’s managing director James Chungu said on March 18, 2020 he applied for the concession after duly and properly meeting all the requirements and requisites to qualify for the concession. He said as a result he appealed to Mr. Chitotela as provided by the Zambia Wildlife Act number 14 of 2015 to reverse the WMLC’s decision and further requested that the tendering for the concession be suspended pending the minister’s decision at appeal.
He believes the minister is legally obliged to make a decision at appeal before the tender can proceed so that the appeal procedure is exhausted to afford Chita Lodge and Resorts Limited an opportunity to appeal to the High Court in an event Mr. Chitotela’s decision goes against the company.