Masebo to call 20 witnesses to Tribunal


TOURISM and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo has told the Tribunal constituted to probe her alleged interference in operations of the Zambia Wildlife Authority that she will call 20 witnesses to testify.
Ms Masebo told the Tribunal chairperson Rhoyda Kaoma, who sat with Livingstone High Court judge-in-charge Ernest Mukulamutiyo and Lusaka High Court judge Chalwe Mchenga yesterday to outline the ground rules, that she was ready to call 20 witnesses.
She, however, said the proceedings would dictate whether all of them would have to testify.
The Tribunal is officially expected to start its sittings on Monday.
Ms Justice Kaoma told both parties that the Tribunal had 45 days in which to complete it business from the time it was appointed.
The Tribunal was appointed on February 13, 2014 after former Communications and
Transport Minister William Harrington petitioned the acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda to set up a Tribunal against Ms Masebo.
“We have less than 40 days and out of the 40 days 20 should be left to the Tribunal to prepare and submit its findings to the President and the Speaker,” she said.
Ms Justice Kaoma said the Tribunal would start sitting at 09:00 hours up to 18:00 hours with a lunch break at 13:00 hours.
Ms Masebo is represented by Michael Mundashi, Bonaventure Mutale and Robert Simeza, all State Counsels, while Mr Harrington has Gilbert Phiri, Makebi Zulu and Keith Mweemba on his side.
Mr Phiri indicated on behalf of Mr Harrington that he would call 12 witnesses out of whom five were supposed to be subpoenaed as they were serving in Government.
Ms Justice Kaoma said Mr Harrington, being the petitioner, would be the first to bring witnesses and would lay his evidence from Monday up to Friday, February 28, 2014, while Ms Masebo would start on March 3 and finish on March 7, this year.
She said the rules of evidence and procedure which apply in civil and criminal matters in the High Court would not apply to the Tribunal because Ms Masebo was not under trial but was merely being investigated for her alleged professional misconduct.