Tourism minister Sylvia Masebo has called for an illegal meeting with professional hunters after illegally cancelling the tenders of hunting safaris and sacking of five top officials from the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA).
According to an advertisement in Monday’s edition of the PF run Zambia Daily Mail, the meeting will take place on Wednesday at Mulungushi International Conference.
“Notice is hereby given to Professional Hunters Association of Zambia, Safari hunters Association of Zambia, Wildlife Producers Association of Zambia, Chiefs in Game Management Areas, Community Resources Board Chairperson, Local Communities, Civil Society in Tourism and Non Governmental Organisation in the tourism sector, that there will be a consultative meeting on hunting safari concessions on Wednesday 9th January 2013 at Mulungushi International conference centre at 10: 30 hrs,” read the advertisement in the Daily Mail.
The said meeting however is illegal because Masebo illegally cancelled the tenders without the approval of the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA).
By cancelling the tender, Masebo was in essence interfering with the tender process, an act that amount to breaching the ZPPA Act.
But sources in the tourism sectors have said that tomorrows meeting has been called with the sole objective of legitimatizing her decision to awarding hunting safaris to companies run by her friends, partners and relatives.
The companies that Masebo was supporting for the hunting safaris are Chimbwi Safaris, Mangomba Safaris, Matopi Safaris Muchinga Adventures and Luangwa Crocodiles which were all not successful in being given hunting areas resulting into the minister claiming that there was corruption in allocating areas.
“We know that this meeting is meant to legitimatize the allocation of blocks to her friends. This meeting is illegal because the tender is still valid as no allegations that she has made has to this date being proved. This is pure corruption on her part,” said the sources in the industry.