Masebo Tribunal : 3 chiefs testify in Tribunal


THREE chiefs and two Community Resource Board (CRB) chairpersons yesterday narrated how they were allegedly dumped at Andrews Motel for four days, while the selection process of 19 hunting concessions was going on at Ibis Gardens in Chisamba.
Giving their testimony before the Roydah Kaoma-led Tribunal, the five who included Chief Jumbe of Mambwe District in Eastern Province,Chief Musungwa of Itezhi Tezhi District in Southern Province, Chief Chikwa of Chama District, Edwin Ngulube, a CRB chairperson from Lundazi, and Roy Mutelele of Kabulwebulwe Mumbwa CRB, narrated how they were left out of the process.
Chief Musungwa said because of the manner in which the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) conducted the selection process for the hunting concessions, the whole tendering process could be described as fraudulent.
He said as owners of the customary land where the concessions were based, the chiefs felt left out and beaten by the ZAWA management Mr Ngulube said after he was called to Lusaka to participate in the selection of the bidders, he was surprised that four days later, more than 18 chiefs and 18 CRB representatives were still waiting to be addressed by former ZAWA director general Edwin Matokwani.
He said when Mr Matokwani finally appeared, at about 1600 hours on the fourth day and he told them that he was in possession of a circular which did not allow them to participate in the process going by the ZPPA Act.
“A number of questions were given to him reminding him about the earlier resolution we had made at a Sandy’s Creation meeting we had that chiefs and CRBs were supposed to be involved in the selections,” he said.
Mr Ngulube said one of the chiefs in attendance, Nabwalya was so annoyed with the turn of events to the extent that he remained standing and kept complaining until the meeting ended after 17 hours.
He said some chiefs and CRB chairpersons left the place in anger but those that remained wrote a letter to President Michael Sata about their grievances of being left out and asked the Head of State to reverse the selection process.
Mr Mutelele said he was extremely happy when Ms Masebo cancelled the tender process because it was not transparent.
Chief Chikwa said he was surprised that a natural resource person was invited to attend the selection process without his knowledge as CRB patron and that his phone had been switched off during the process.
One of the reasons advanced by Ms Masebo for the cancellation of the tender process was the ommission of involvement of chiefs by the ZAWA management.