Masebo tribunal should proceed – Harrington

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Tourism Minister Sylvia Masebo
Tourism Minister Sylvia Masebo

FORMER minister of Tourism and Environment William Harrington says the tribunal against Minister of Tourism and Arts Sylvia Masebo should proceed because the High Court’s decision to stop the execution of its earlier judgment is allegedly irregular.
On November 15 this year, Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda appointed a three-member tribunal to probe complaints by Mr Harrington against Ms Masebo’s alleged abuse of authority of office regarding operations at the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA).
Mrs Justice Chibesakunda appointed the tribunal after High Court judge Dominic Sichinga said in a Judgement dated October 29 this year that Mr Harrington had the right to be heard.
The tribunal could, however, not start sitting because of an order to stop the judgment against Ms Masebo.
This follows the State’s application of an ex parte order to stay the proceeding pending determination of the matter in the Supreme Court.
But Mr Harrington says in an affidavit in support of summons to set aside the order to stay the court’s judgment dated October 29, obtained in Lusaka yesterday, that Mr Justice Sichinga should rescind his decision to grant the State an ex parte order.
“In the circumstances, I crave the indulgence of this honourable court to set aside the stay of its declaratory judgment of October 29, this year,” he said.
Mr Harrington said Mr Justice Sichinga’s judgment was declaratory in nature and that such a judgment cannot be a subject of an application for stay of execution.
Ms Justice Chibesakunda has appointed Supreme Court Judge Roydah Kaoma as chairperson and justices Ernest Mukulwamutiyo and Chalwe Mchenga as members.
The acting chief justice had earlier declined to appoint a tribunal as requested by Mr Harrington on grounds that he did not supply her with sufficient facts and particulars on the alleged breaches that Ms Masebo had committed.
This prompted Mr Harrington to commence legal proceedings through a judicial review against Ms Justice Chibesakunda’s refusal to constitute a tribunal.
But on October 29, Mr Justice Sichinga said in his judgement that Mr Harrington had the right to be heard under
section 13 (1) and (3) of the Act and there is need for the chief justice to constitute a tribunal to probe allegations levelled against Ms Masebo.
In a petition to Ms Justice Chibesakunda, Mr Harrington said the tribunal if appointed should investigate media allegations of interference and abuse of authority office by Ms Masebo in the hunting concession licence tender process at ZAWA.

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SOURCE: Zambia Daily Mail

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