‘Botched up’ ZAWA deal smells of corruption-MP

Fri, 03 Mar 2017 10:55:11 +0000



THE sale of 100 sables to Orange River Consolidated Properties, a South African company, by Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) smells of fraud or corruption, a member of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee Kapembwa Simbao has charged.

Yesterday, the PAC heard how ZAWA lost K350,000 in legal fees and damages to Orange River Consolidated Limited when it attempted to counter-offer the same deal to a different company.

Appearing before PAC, Ministry of Tourism and Arts permanent secretary Dr Liya Nawa Mutale, told members of Parliament that Orange River Consolidated Properties bought 100 sables through successful bidding but that due to a counter-offer that benefitted ZAWA,


the authority opted to refund the company.

She further explained that Orange River Consolidated Properties refused the refund and took ZAWA to court where the authority was ordered to pay K350,000 as legal costs and damages.

But Mr Simbao, who is Patriotic Front (PF) Senga Hill Member of Parliament, wondered how ZAWA could have opted to counter-offer the auction if there was no fraud and corruption involved in the deal.

“How was the decision to counter-offer arrived at, that ZAWA should lose a lot of money because this smells of fraud and corruption?” Mr Simbao said.

But the PS, who was recently appointed by President Edgar Lungu, asked ministry legal counsel Mrs Misozi Ngulube to respond to the queries.

Ms Ngulube admitted that it was illegal for ZAWA to have decided to counter-offer the auctioning of the 100 sables to a different firm after entering into an agreement with Orange River Consolidated Properties.

She also explained that the reason why ZAWA decided to auction 100 sables was because it needed to resolve some of its financial challenges.

Earlier, Ms Mutale explained that ZAWA and Orange Rivers entered into an agreement in which the 100 sables would be kept in Lusaka National Park and the rental charges were to be used to offset the damages due to the company and the cost estimated between US$20,000 and US$30, 000 for renovating the animal pens were to be deducted from the rentals too.

“Management wishes to regret that during the transformation of ZAWA to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife under the Ministry of Tourism and Arts, the renewal of the contract which expired in February, 2016, was not undertaken.

“However, management has responded to the matter and a new lease agreement is expected to be signed by mid-March, 2017,” Ms Mutale said.

She said the amount owed by ZAWA in respect of legal charges and costs for renovating the animal pens amounting to US$65,000 was absorbed by charges for the period from August 2015 to August 2016.

Ms Mutale said as for the outstanding rentals of six months amounting to US$30,000 for the period from September, 2016, to February, 2017, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife had invoiced the company to immediately recover the outstanding rentals.


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